It has been a tough few weeks for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos and their misery was compounded tonight as they lost 37-28 to the Cincinnati Bengals and officially surrendered the #1 seed in the AFC to the New England Patriots.
The Broncos had won their previous four games before tonight but their star Quarterback had been amongst the injury rumours.
Many were speculating that Manning had suffered a injury which was limiting his throwing ability for the Broncos in recent weeks.
Runningback C.J Anderson has risen to fame in the same time period but all the focus has been on Manning's lack of passing.
That wasn't the case tonight against the Bengals but Manning and the Broncos fans may wish it had of been.
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Manning threw four interceptions in the game and unbelievably threw three of them in the final quarter of the game.
Manning was sacked twice - also both in the fourth quarter and he couldn't seem to get the Broncos offense moving at times.
Denver were down 20-7 at half-time and Manning was inspired after the break taking the Broncos into the endzone on three consecutive drives.
That was as good as it got for Denver though as they then had four consecutive drives where they failed to gain a first down.
Manning's numbers were good despite the poor second half display with him throwing for 311 yards and two of the Broncos three offensive touchdowns.
Cincinnati know the run
Despite Manning throwing four interceptions, where the game was really won and lost was by running the ball, and Cincinnati certainly won that battle.
The Bengals ran the ball well with 207 overall rushing yards and Jeremy Hill coming away with 147 yards himself including an 85 yard touchdown run.
The Bengals were very effective on the run tonight but they were equally impressive when it came to stopping the run.
The Broncos were limited to just 85 yards of total rushing offense in the game and the Bengals will need more of the same next week when they come up against Le'Veon Bell and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the battle for the AFC North.
Peyton big thank you!
It may have been a bad night for Peyton Manning and the Broncos, but following the confirmation of the Bengals victory, Twitter was quick to thank Peyton.
Becoming the third highest trend across America, Twitter was filled with Patriots fans thanking Peyton for giving them the #1 seed and Bengals fans thanking him for giving them a play-off berth.
Cincinnati can still grab the #2 seed in the AFC of course with a win over the Steelers and an Oakland Raiders win over the Broncos.
Week 17 of the NFL season is set to be a very interesting affair with several divisions set to be clinched and the seeded positions in both the AFC and NFC almost all up for grabs.
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