The flurry of scoring came to a brief rest in the second quarter as Baltimore punted twice and Denver once. The Broncos broke the stalemate with an 86-yard touchdown drive to take a 21-14 lead.
The Denver offense came out in a fast-paced no-huddle. Quarterback Peyton Manning hit wideout Demaryius Thomas for 9 yards and then he quickly handed it to Knowshon Moreno who got the first down on a 5-yard burst.
The next play gained 7 on a completion to Moreno, and then rookie running back Ronnie Hillman moved the chains with a 6-yard gain.
Still without huddling, Manning hit wide receiver Eric Decker for a second straight first down, a 10-yard gain across midfield.
Hillman gained 3 with a run on the next play. On second down, Manning faked a handoff and the defense bit. Decker, left wide open, caught a pass in the middle of the field and juked his way to a 32-yard gain down to the Baltimore 14.
Once again, Denver quickly reset and readied for the next play. This time, Manning looked for paydirt. He threw one to the back-corner of the end zone, threading the needle between a pair of converging Baltimore defenders into the diving arms of Moreno, who was lined up out wide.
It was the first postseason touchdown of Moreno’s career, giving the Broncos a 21-14 second-quarter lead with 7:26 remaining. He became the first Broncos running back to catch playoff touchdown pass since Howard Griffith did so in the ’98 AFC Title Game vs. the Jets.
The Broncos didn’t face a single third down on the drive, which took 3:35 off the clock in eight plays and 86 yards.