Browns vs. Broncos score update: Peyton Manning carries Denver to 14-3 first-half lead

CHirs Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

It's been smooth sailing for the Broncos thus far, as a pair of touchdown passes from Peyton Manning has Denver out to a 14-3 lead at the half.

The Denver Broncos are zeroing in a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs as they lead the Cleveland Browns, 14-3, after two quarters of play at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

Following the Houston Texans improbable 23-6 upset loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon, the Broncos can force a tie for the top spot in the AFC playoff race with a win over the Browns. Peyton Manning and company have been unbeatable of late, winning nine consecutive games and don't figure to have much trouble dispatching the struggling Browns.

Manning has lead the charge for the Broncos thus far, connecting with Demaryius Thomas on a 22-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, and adding a 10-yard strike to Eric Decker. The 15-year veteran has completed 19-of-27 passes for 221 yards and one interception.

The Broncos threatened to add another touchdown as the second quarter wound down, but Manning was intercepted in the end zone on a five-yard pass intended for running back Knowshon Moreno.

Thomas has been Manning's top target on the day with five catches for 67 yards and a score, while Moreno has carried the bulk of the rushing duties, carrying the ball 11 times for 38 yards.

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