Denver Broncos clinch home-field advantage in AFC


There are no guarantees Peyton Manning's amazing comeback season will end with a New Orleans homecoming at Super Bowl XLVII, but the Denver Broncos appear to be on a championship path.

The Broncos cruised by the Kansas City Chiefs 38-3 on Sunday, ending the regular season on an 11-game winning streak. At 13-3, the Broncos are the No. 1 seed in the AFC, locking up home-field advantage throughout the conference playoffs.

The Broncos got help earlier in the day when the Houston Texans stumbled against the Indianapolis Colts. The Broncos had no interest in letting their own golden opportunity slip away, as Manning polished off an MVP-caliber season with three touchdowns and 304 passing yards before giving way to rookie backup Brock Osweiler early in the fourth quarter.

Manning finished the season with 4,659 passing yards, 37 touchdowns and a passer rating north of 105. Not bad for a guy some people thought couldn't do it anymore.

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With the New England Patriots sliding into the No. 2 seed with a 28-0 win over the Miami Dolphins, Manning and Tom Brady are one playoff win away from bringing their iconic rivalry back to the AFC Championship Game.

Sunday's win ensured Manning will have his home fans behind him if such a scenario plays out.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.