The Broncos defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-23 on Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, improving to 9-3 and clinching the AFC West title.
Denver struck first on a 1-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Peyton Manning to defensive tackle Mitch Unrein. It was Unrein’s first career reception and touchdown.
The Bucs scored the next 10 points, however, and entered the locker room with a 10-7 advantage over the home team.
In the third quarter, the Broncos erupted for three touchdowns to break the game open. The first two were touchdowns from Manning to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas from 8 and 9 yards out. The third score in the third quarter came from the defense.
On a second-down play, Unrein hit quarterback Josh Freeman as he released the ball, and linebacker Von Miller was in the perfect place for the interception. After securing his first career pick, Miller returned it 26 yards for his first career touchdown, putting Denver up 28-10.
The Buccaneers scored 13 of the game’s final 16 points after the Miller touchdown, but the Broncos recovered a fourth-quarter onside kick and ran out the clock to end the game.
The 31-23 win marks Denver’s seventh consecutive victory. The team now faces a quick turnaround, heading to Oakland for a Thursday night divisional clash.