Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos: Broncos Set Up for Super Bowl Run

DJ SiddiqiCorrespondent IIIDecember 31, 2012

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 30:  Demaryius Thomas #88 of the Denver Broncos catches a touchdown pass against Javier Arenas #21 of 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

The Denver Broncos defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 38-3 on Sunday afternoon for their 11th straight win after the Houston Texans had fallen to the Indianapolis Colts 28-16 earlier on in the day.

In the process of both results, the Broncos clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and enter the postseason as the No. 1 seed for the first time since 1998, when John Elway was running bootlegs and Terrell Davis was running for 2,000 yards in single seasons.

Here the Broncos were on another Sunday completing yet another dominating victory through complete game performances by both the offense and the defense.

Lost in Peyton Manning's 300-plus-yard and three-touchdown performance was the Broncos defense holding Brady Quinn to 49 passing yards total on the day.

Yes, 49 total passing yards. The Chiefs had a total net yardage of 119 yards in comparison to Denver's 488 yards.

It's easy to get lost in Manning's consistent and methodical passing performances on a week-to-week basis. It's easy to get accustomed to Von Miller and the front seven consistently forcing pressure and wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks on a week-to-week basis as they did on Quinn on Sunday.

It's easy to take for granted just how good this team is period. Both the offense and defense ranks in the top five in scoring offense and defense. The offense ranks second scoring 30.1 points per game while the defense ranks fourth, allowing just 18.1 points per game.

And that's the thing with this team. This team is consistent. It churns out dominating performance after dominating performance week after week.

The 2012 Denver Broncos are one of those football teams that are quietly good.

Are they flashy? Sometimes. Look no further than Eric Decker's and Demaryius Thomas' touchdown catches on Sunday that will be seen on highlight reels all week long.

Are they under the radar? Not exactly. The Broncos are considered the favorites by many to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

Do they lack the star power of, say, the New England Patriots' Super Bowl-winning teams of the early 2000s?

No, far from it. They have an MVP candidate in Peyton Manning embarking on an NFL-record fifth MVP award while at the same time having a Defensive Player of the Year Candidate in Von Miller.

However, while analysts and pundits are talking about the Giants failing to make the playoffs a year after winning the Super Bowl, while they're talking about the Colts' feel-good season in the midst of their head coach dealing with leukemia, while they're talking about the Falcons and their playoff struggles despite having the No. 1 seed or while they're discussing for yet another season Tony Romo and the Cowboys' late-season struggles, one team just continues to win with the same formula week by week.

Here the NFL audience viewed, for yet another week, the Houston Texans losing for the third time in four games. They lost to an Indianapolis Colts team led by a rookie quarterback who was playing for nothing but pride and their head coach, as they were locked in to the No. 5 seed no matter what happened on Sunday.

The Texans had home-field advantage in their grasp as a win would have clinched the No. 1 seed despite embarrassing losses to the Patriots and Vikings in recent weeks.

The Ravens lost another game after sitting Joe Flacco and throwing the white flag as they hope to enter the playoffs healthier than they've been all year long.

The Patriots won 28-0 by dominating the hapless Miami Dolphins to end the season as the AFC's No. 2 seed—and, more importantly, as Denver's biggest obstacle in representing the AFC in the Super Bowl.

After 17 weeks through the NFL season, what can we conclude about the 2012 Denver Broncos as the NFL playoffs begin in less than a week?

The 2012 Denver Broncos are the AFC's team to beat, and the road to the Super Bowl runs through Denver.

Officially this time.