The Denver Broncos (8-3) look to clinch the division title and a playoff berth for the second consecutive season when they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their final inter-conference game of the year. The (6-5) Buccaneers remain in the middle of the NFC playoff hunt, making this a meaningful matchup. The Kickoff on Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. MST.
BROADCAST: KDVR-TV (FOX 31): Dick Stockton will do the play-by-play and former Broncos and Buccaneer John Lynch will provide the color commentary with Jennifer Hale reporting from the sidelines. Here is the Broadcast Map to find which games will be aired in your area this week.
WEATHER: The weather forecast is calling for Mostly Sunny skies with a high/low of 61/35f. Check here for the current reading.
ODDS: The Wise Guys in Vegas have the Broncos favored by 7 points with an over/under of 50.5 points.
SERIES: Broncos Record: 5-2-0 (Home: 3-1 / Away: 2-1). The Broncos won the last game at Denver 16-13 in October, 2008. The Broncos have won the last 2 meetings.
- The Broncos are looking for their 7th consecutive win.
- QB Peyton Manning (149) passed Hall Of Famer John Elway (148) last week for the 2nd-most regular-season wins as a starter in NFL history.
- Manning has a 110.2 rating at home in 2012, the best in AFC. In 2 career games vs. Tampa Bay, Manning is 2-0 and has a 102.2 rating.
- RB Knowshon Moreno had a season-high 111 yards from scrimmage (85 rush, 26 rec.) last week.
- WR Demaryius Thomas has registered 100+ receiving yards in 3 of 5 home games this season (110, 103, 137). He has 24 receptions for 350 yards and 2 Touchdowns in 3 games vs. NFC opponents this season.
- WR Eric Decker has 8 Touchdown catches in 2012, tying a career season high (8 in 2011).
- The Denver Defense has an NFL-best 37 Sacks in 2012.
- LB Von Miller had 8 Sacks in November, surpassing Rulon Jones (7.5 in October, 1986) for the most Sacks in a calendar month by a Bronco. Miller is going for his 5th consecutive game with a Sack.
- LB Wesley Woodyard has career highs in Sacks (4) and Interceptions (3) in 2012.
- DE ELVIS DUMERVIL (8) needs 2 Sacks to record at least 10 for the 3rd time in his career.
- Tampa Bay has won 4 of its past 5 games.
- In the past 7 games, QB Josh Freeman has 16 Touchdowns vs. 3 Interceptions and a 104.1 rating.
- Freeman is 3-0 vs. AFC opponents in 2012 with 7 Touchdowns, 1 Interception and a 121.9 rating. The Bucs are 11-3 when he has 100+ rating.
- Rookie RB Doug Martin is 2nd in the League with 1,382 scrimmage yards (1,050 rush, 332 rec.). He rushed for 2 TDs last week and leads the NFC with 9 rushing Touchdowns. Martin has 522 scrimmage yards (395 rush, 127 rec.) and 4 TDs in 3 games vs. AFC.
- WR Vincent Jackson has 6 TDs in the past 8 games. Since 2008, his 18.5 yards per catch average (248 rec., 4,578 yards) is the best in the NFL (min. 100 catches).
- V-Jax has NO 100-yard games against the Broncos and a mere 3 TD catches, including one in his last 8 games (including the Chargers)
- Jackson (20.4) and WR Mike Williams (16.9) rank 1st and 3rd in the NFC in yards per catch (min. 30 catches). Williams had 28-yard pass last week to Jackson.
- TE Dallas Clark has Touchdown catches in 2 of past 3 games and 5 in the past 3 against Denver.
- WR Tiquan Underwood had a career-high 5 catches and 77 yards last week.
- Rookie CB Leonard Johnson has an Interception in each of the past 2 games vs. AFC opponents, including an 83-yard Pick-Six.
- S Ronde Barber had an Interception last week and is the only player in NFL annals with 25+ Sacks (28) and 40+ INTs (47).
- DE Michael Bennett has a Sack in 3 of the past 5 games.
- Rookie LB Lavonte David leads the team with 98 Tackles.
- Rookie S Mark Barron has 62 Tackles and 8 Pass Breakups.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR vs. BUCCANEERS
CB CHAMP BAILEY (33 INTs as a Bronco/199 career PDs)
Tampa Bay has a young and talented team and I believe 7 points is a little generous after last week’s game at Arrowhead. I expect this game to be as tight as the last unless the Bronco Offense turns it up a notch.
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