Time to call your travel agent and get your tickets to California and watch your Denver Broncos as they are Super Bowl bound once again.
In a game that matched two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, it will be the 17th time these two have faced each other. This is the fifth time they have me in postseason, and the fourth time they’ve squared off against each other in the AFC title game. In today’s AFC Championship game played at Sports Authority Field At Mile High, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos took it to the New England Patriots and won 20-18.
Tom Brady could not shake the Denver Broncos defense as DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller attacked the offense of the New England Patriots all day long. Combine this with the offense that has in the past games have not been able to hold onto a football, and today the receivers held on. The running backs secured the football and the team looked like a different team of the past few weeks.
Denver Broncos saw the first opening score as Peyton Manning threw a 21 yard strike to Owen Daniels and Daniels put on the horsepower as he raced across the goal line. Kicker Brandon McManus is perfect with the PAT and the underrated Denver Broncos have now set a tone for the game.
The same team that during the pregame television coverage, Tony Gonzales was the only man that picked Denver to win the game. If you read any of the media this week, no one was even considering the Denver Broncos as a contender for Sunday’s game.
New England did get on the scoreboard a late in the first quarter with a 1-yard touchdown. Stephen Gostkowski missed the PAT and that hurt the Patriots in the end.
Denver Broncos scored again in the second quarter with Peyton Manning again hitting Owen Daniels for a 12-yard touchdown. Add a field goal with 38 seconds left in the second quarter and Denver Broncos go to halftime leading the New England Patriots 17-9.
The third quarter saw only a field goal by New England Patriots and the Patriots were now within striking distance of making their move. But the Denver Broncos defense came through and put hits on Tom Brady. They held Rob Gronkowski in check and he was not really able to be a big impact.
The fourth quarter was a nail biter though. The New England Patriots put up a touchdown with 17 seconds left in the game. But in order to tie the Denver Broncos, the Patriots had to go for 2 instead of a field goal. The first quarter miss on the PAT came back to haunt the Patriots and as Tom Brady dropped back to pass, the ball was tipped and intercepted by Denver and now the New England Patriots had to try for an onside kick. Shiloh Keo recover the onside kick and with that all Peyton Manning had to do was take a knee and the Denver Broncos did what the sports experts said they could not do.
The leading rusher for the New England Patriots was Tom Brady with 13 total yards. Brady did put up 310 passing yards to Peyton’s 176. But Tom Brady also had 2 interceptions and the older Peyton Manning had zero interceptions.
Will we see a different game in the upcoming 50th Super Bowl than what we saw last year? We know the defense is ready to meet their opponent and if the offense can stay focused and step up their keeping Peyton Manning safe, Denver will have a strong shot at bringing the Vince Lombardi trophy to the Mile High city.