After getting beat up by the Cincinnati Bengals, the Denver Broncos needed to beat up on someone else as they headed into the playoffs.
Their old division rival Oakland Raiders provided just the ticket.
The Broncos offense, led by running back C.J. Anderson, tallied four touchdowns and four field goals and over 400 yards from scrimmage. The Broncos defense stifled the Raiders, allowing only one first down in the first half (forcing five 3-and-outs) and shutting the Raiders offense out until the third quarter. Then, the icing on the defensive cake: a Lerentee McCray strip-sack of Derek Carr in the fourth quarter was recovered by Tony Carter, who returned it for a touchdown.
The Broncos marched to victory 47-14 to complete their season sweep of the AFC West and cement their perfect 8-0 record at home in 2014.
Peyton Manning was somewhere between his "struggling" self and the dominant playmaker we've seen this year - he threw no interceptions, but he also threw no touchdowns, finishing with an 80.1 passer rating. His numbers looked a lot better until a late drive stalled with five straight Manning incompletions. Brock Osweiler came in for Manning with just under five minutes left in the game and a 26-point lead. He hit Virgil Green for his first career passing touchdown late in the game. It was Green's first career touchdown as well.
Everybody's happy! #Broncos https://t.co/mxEew6b1ex— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) December 29, 2014
Anderon completed a hat trick with three rushing touchdowns, continuing his dominant, tackle-breaking routine with Ronnie Hillman seeing nearly as many snaps.
With the win, the Broncos clinched the 2nd seed in the AFC playoffs. They'll play either the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, or Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional round of the 2014 playoffs.