Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Denver Broncos: Mile-High Winners and Losers

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Denver Broncos: Mile-High Winners and Losers
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-23 Sunday night to clinch their second consecutive AFC West title.

There were a number of feats accomplished by the Broncos in their victory. Peyton Manning passed Dan Marino for second on the all-time completions list. Manning also threw three touchdown passes on the day. Coming into the game, Manning needed just two touchdowns to surpass John Elway and Jake Plummer for the franchise's single-season record for passing touchdowns.

Outside of Manning's statistical feats, Denver clinched its second straight AFC West title. It is the first time since the 1986 and 1987 seasons that the Broncos have accomplished this. It also just Denver's fourth AFC West title since John Elway retired following the 1998 Super Bowl season.

With a 9-3 record, Denver is assured of a winning season. It is the franchise's first since 2006.

The Broncos started off this game slow, going into halftime down 10-7. However, they dominated the third quarter by outscoring the Bucs 21-0 before Tampa Bay made a late rally to make the score look respectable.

We learned plenty from this game—let's focus on who emerged as the winners and losers...

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