The Denver Broncos special season got even sweeter Sunday.
First, as the Broncos warmed up to play their last regular season game against the Chiefs, their eyes were transfixed on the jumbotron at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium, watching the Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans.
And as it turned out, the Colts helped the Broncos out in a big way for the second time in one year.
Indy – who cut now Denver QB Peyton Manning in the offseason – already had their postseason ticket punched, not needing to beat division rival Houston, but they came out energized when head coach Chuck Pagano returned from battling cancer. The Colts handled the Texans, whooping them 28-16, opening the door for the Broncos to take the No. 1 seed.
Denver saw their opportunity and capitalized on it, quickly jumping all over the Chiefs with a Knowshon Moreno touchdown run and two Manning TD passes to take a 21-3 lead into the half. They wouldn't stop there though, as Manning connected with Demaryius Thomas in the back of the end zone in the third quarter before Lance Ball rushed in a score of his own, and Matt Prater hit a field goal for the 38-3 win.
Of course, it wasn't all offense – the Denver D was domineering all day long. They only allowed Jamaal Charles to rush for 53 yards, while they held the Chiefs' fifth-best rushing attack to a mere 93 total yards. Even more dominant was the passing defense that gave up a miniscule 26 yards through the air to Kansas City QB Brady Quinn, all while forcing eight punts and racking up four sacks.
With the blowout victory, the Broncos won their 11th straight game – all by at least seven points to become one of three teams in NFL history to do so – and moved into the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
Now, the road to the Super Bowl goes through the Mile High City, where the Broncos went 7-1 this season and have a history of playing very well at altitude.
It's the best-case scenario; win two more home games and they're in Super Bowl XLVII.
And if any team can do it, this Broncos squad led by Manning and the dominant defense sure can.
Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist. You can follow Rich on twitter or facebook for all your Denver Broncos news and opinion.