Defensive Tackle Mitch Unrein’s 1-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter against Tampa Bay was the first offensive touchdown by a defensive lineman in Broncos history. The play represented the first receiving score by an NFL defensive lineman since Ryan Denney (Buf.) on Sept. 27, 2009.
Head Coach John Fox became just the third coach to win division titles in each of his first two years with a club after inheriting a team with a losing record. He is just the second coach to take a last-place team and lead it to consecutive division championships in his first two years.
Linebacker Von Miller recorded his first career interception and returned it 26 yards for a score, to mark another career first. The play marked the fifth defensive touchdown of the season for the Broncos, and was the 11th non-offensive touchdown by the team under Fox.
The Broncos won their seventh straight game on Sunday against Tampa Bay to mark the franchise’s fourth-longest win streak, and the longest since the 1998 season when the team won 13 in a row.
The Broncos clinched a record-tying 12th AFC West Division title with their 31-23 win against the Buccaneers on Sunday. Denver is tied with Oakland for the all-time lead in AFC West championships. The Broncos have won 10 AFC West titles during Owner and CEO Pat Bowlen’s 29 seasons, which is the most by any team in that span. Sunday’s win also marked his 17th winning season and guaranteed his 15th playoff appearance, which both mark the most among AFC West clubs during his ownership.
Quarterback Peyton Manning’s three passing touchdowns against the Bucs gave him 29 on the season to represent a Broncos single-season record.
Wide receiver Trindon Holliday leads the NFL with a 37.4-yard kick return average and ranks second with a 13.0-yard punt return average since joining the Broncos in Week 6. He also remains the only player in the NFL this season to appear in 12 games and have an undefeated record through Week 13. Holliday spent the first five games this year with the Texans, who were 5-0 to start the year. He then came to Denver just in time for the Broncos’ first victory of their current seven-game win streak to make him 12-0 on the year.
Manning passed Dan Marino to climb into second place in NFL history for completions. He now has 4,986 in his career, trailing just Brett Favre (6,300) in that category.