Denver took a 20-point lead after a 9-play, 62-yard drive highlighted by a string of four straight completions by quarterback Peyton Manning.
The Broncos started the drive on their own 30-yard line with a 2-yard run by running back Ronnie Hillman before Manning completed four straight passes to put the ball on the Carolina 8-yard line.
The first two completions covered 10 and 11 yards and both went to wide receiver Brandon Stokley. Manning then found wide receiver Demaryius Thomas for 17 yards before a 22-yard completion down the sideline to tight end Joel Dreessen penetrated the Panthers’ red zone.
The drive then stalled when a run for no gain was followed by a pair of incompletions, and Denver picked up a 27-yard field goal by kicker Matt Prater, making Prater 2-for-3 on the afternoon.