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Chiefs vs. Broncos: Road to Super Bowl Runs Through Denver

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 30:  Jacob Hester #40 and Demaryius Thomas #88 of the Denver Broncos run out onto the field prior to the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 30, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/Getty Images)
Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images
Christopher HansenNFL AnalystDecember 31, 2012

The Denver Broncos easily disposed of the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in a 38-3 rout in front of their home crowd. With the Houston Texans' loss to Peyton Manning’s former team on Sunday, the road to the Super Bowl now runs through Denver. 

The Broncos beat both the Ravens and Bengals on the road this season and would hold a monstrous advantage playing in front of the raucous crowd at Sport Authority Field. 

Everything sets up perfectly for the Broncos, as their only loss at home this season was against the Houston Texans in Week 3.

Since the Broncos play on Saturday, they will also get one extra day of rest if they were to make it to the AFC Championship game. The ducks are in a row, the dominoes are set, the house is in order and the Broncos just have to take care of business.  It’s rare that teams get opportunities like this and the Broncos can’t waste it.

They didn’t waste many opportunities against the Chiefs, scoring five touchdowns on five red-zone opportunities. The Broncos hadn’t been a great team at scoring touchdowns in the red zone this season. Not today. 

Playing against the worst team in the league, it was a glorified practice for the Broncos, but the improvement in the red zone was still notable. Manning was nearly perfect for three quarters and the game was so lopsided that rookie quarterback Brock Osweiler played an entire quarter.

The only real negative from the game was that Ronnie Hillman fumbled and didn’t get any more carries the rest of the day. If Hillman couldn’t get back into the game and get carries against the Chiefs, there’s little chance he’s going to be getting carries against superior defenses in the playoffs.

The only concern now: will the bye week derail the Broncos' momentum? The bye in Week 5 certainly didn’t halt their momentum coming back from 24 points down against the Chargers, so any talk about it throwing off the Broncos is just an excuse. Denver will welcome the rest.

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