Playoff-Bound Broncos Beat Bucs For Seventh Straight Win

December 2, 2012 9:17 PM

Playoff-Bound Broncos Beat Bucs For Seventh Straight Win

" Peyton Manning congratulates Demaryius Thomas in the endzone after one of his two touchdown catches. (credit: Evan Semón/CBS)

DENVER (AP) — Ah, that growing list of Broncos playmakers: Peyton Manning. Von Miller. Demaryius Thomas.

Mitch Unrein?

Well, yes.

The second-year defensive lineman out of Wyoming played as big a role as Manning, Miller or anyone else Sunday in helping the Denver Broncos defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-23 and wrap up their second straight AFC West title.

Unrein caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Manning to open the scoring, then got the hit on Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman that forced a bad throw. It ended up in Miller’s hands and, moments later, the end zone for the score that turned the game into a runaway.

“People are going to have to game-plan for that guy,” cornerback Champ Bailey said.

Thomas caught two other touchdown passes from Manning, who now has 29 this year and passed Jake Plummer and John Elway for the most scoring throws in a single season.

The Broncos (9-3) won their seventh straight and wrapped up a date in January in the playoffs, though there were no champagne bottles being uncorked in the locker room "

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