ENGLEWOOD - The Denver Broncos clinched the AFC West title on Saturday, and thanks to a little help from Buffalo, they also secured a first-round bye in the playoffs. Denver beat Oakland 22-3 at Invesco Field at Mile High on Saturday. Denver got a huge break earlier in the day when Buffalo upset Cincinnati 37-27. The Bengals fell to 11-4 and the Broncos improved to 12-3. Denver owns the tiebreaker over Cincinnati because the Broncos have a better conference record, so the Broncos clinched the second seed in the AFC with Sunday's win. The Broncos’ first playoff game, the first in the history of Invesco Field, will be on the weekend of Jan. 14-15. Denver clinched the AFC West championship shortly after its game started, when Kansas City finished a 20-7 win over San Diego. But the Broncos needed to win to clinch the bye, and they dominated the Raiders the entire game. Denver scored a field goal on its first drive and quarterback Jake Plummer ran for a 1-yard touchdown later in the first quarter to give the Broncos a 10-0 lead. Running back Mike Anderson ran for a 2-yard touchdown in the second quarter and Denver led 16-0 at halftime. Plummer completed 15 of 18 passes for 209 yards in the first half. Denver plays at San Diego next Saturday. The Broncos might rest many of their starters because they have clinched the second seed in the AFC and Indianapolis has the first seed. San Diego also has nothing to play for, because the Chargers were eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday. See tomorrow's NFL coverage for all the details on today's games. CONTACT THE WRITER: 476-4891 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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