The New England Patriots and Denver Broncos square off in the AFC Championship Game for the opportunity to play in Super Bowl 50. Keep it here for live score updates, highlights, stats and analysis throughout the game.
It marks the 17th time Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have faced each other during their careers. Brady has the 11-5 edge in the series, but the quarterbacks have split the playoff games 2-2.
Denver won the earlier contest this season when the two team met. They won 30-24 in overtime, but the matchup will look different this time around.
Brock Osweiler led the team at quarterback in the previous game as Manning was sidelined with injuries. Manning will be under center today, but the team will rely on a defense that is one of the best in the league.
The Broncos will face a difficult test against a high powered Patriots offense. Once the game kicks off we will have live coverage of everything you need know.
Here’s what has happened so far:Tom Brady Threw His Third Interception to End the Game
The Denver Broncos are headed to Super Bowl 50 and survived a Patriots comeback attempt with seconds to go. New England converted on a long fourth down bomb to Rob Gronkowski.
New England converted on another fourth down opportunity. Gronk caught the ball in the endzone to cut the Broncos lead to two.
Brady was intercepted on the two-point conversion attempt to send the Broncos to the Super Bowl. It was Brady’s third interception of the game.Peyton Manning Connected With Owen Daniels for Two Early Touchdowns
Owen Daniels shakes off the defender
Peyton Manning lofts a beautiful touch pass
Early on, Owen Daniels was the man of the hour. He scored two touchdowns in the first quarter as Manning connected with him in the endzone for two scores. The Broncos had a 14-6 lead late in the second quarter.
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Almost no one gave the Denver Broncos a chance to beat the New England Patriots in Sunday's AFC Championship Game, but Peyton Manning and a furious defense pulled off the improbable against Tom Brady's squad.
In perhaps the last chapter of the Manning-vs.-Brady rivalry, the Broncos punched their ticket to Super Bowl 50 with a 20-18 victory in the Mile High City.
The Broncos will take on the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 after Cam Newton and Co. trounced the Arizona Cardinals 49-15 in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday.
Here's a look at the highlights of the thrilling game in Denver, courtesy of NFL.com:
Manning struggled with foot and rib injuries throughout the regular season, and the team even benched him in favor of Brock Osweiler in November.
After Osweiler faltered in Week 17 against the San Diego Chargers, Manning returned to the field and led Denver to a victory in the regular-season finale and a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the divisional round of the playoffs.Brady Under Duress
On Sunday, Manning threw for just 176 yards, but he did throw two touchdown passes with no interceptions. While that stat line is a far cry from what we've grown accustomed to seeing from Manning in his career, it was all Denver needed.
The Broncos defense put on a performance for the ages. DeMarcus Ware, Von Miller and others shredded the Pats' makeshift offensive line.
Brady had almost no time to find open receivers as Denver sacked him four times, hit him 20 times and picked him off twice, per ESPN.com.
The constant pressure produced this un-Brady-like stat line: 27-of-56, 310 YDS, 1 TD, 2 INT. New England established nothing on the ground, as Brady was the team's leading rusher with 13 yards on three carries.
Even with the lopsided statistics, the Patriots had their chances.
Trailing 20-12 with one minute and 34 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Brady connected with tight end Rob Gronkowski on a 40-yard pass to the Broncos' 10-yard line on 4th-and-10. Brady found Gronk again in the end zone with 12 seconds remaining on 4th-and-goal.
The Pats needed to go for the two-point conversion to force overtime, but Denver deflected Brady's desperation pass to Julian Edelman, and Bradley Roby picked it off.
The Broncos recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the remaining time to cement the win.
A missed extra point by the usually dependable Stephen Gostkowski in the first quarter came back to haunt the Pats. While Gostkowski made two field goals in the game, his missed point-after attempt forced the Patriots to go for two late in the game.
In a postgame interview, per SportsCenter, Gostkowski expressed his regret:
"I just feel awful about it. It's a sickening feeling." Stephen Gostkowski owns his missed extra point. https://t.co/DQcvbKGK9A
New England had several opportunities to regain control of the game after Gostkowski's miss, but the Pats offense couldn't slow down the pass rush on Brady. Missed kick or not, the Broncos proved to be the better team.Defense Wins Championships
Super Bowl 50 looks as though it will be a low-scoring game. Per ESPN Stats & Info, the Broncos and Panthers ranked No. 1 and 2 in defensive efficiency this year:
Broncos & Panthers rank 1st and 2nd in defensive efficiency. They were the top 2 teams in that statistic the last 9 weeks of regular season.
With this dynamic, the key to winning it all will be taking care of the football.
If Manning has another efficient performance and his defense plays at a high level again, the Broncos might be set to win the franchise's third Super Bowl.
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Despite struggling in Denver last season, the New England Patriots were able to grind out a win against the Broncos on Sunday.
As expected, it wasn’t pretty in Denver. The Broncos still have a very good defense, and they were able to keep the high-powered Patriots offense in check. A few costly turnovers by the Broncos resulted in points for the Patriots.
Credit has to go to the Patriots defense in this win. Even though the Broncos don’t have an explosive offense, the Patriots defense was able to shut them down throughout the game. Beating the Broncos is a huge confidence boost for the Patriots, as they were able to get revenge from the two losses last season.
Logan Ryan, Patriots: When the game was still close early on, Logan Ryan had arguably the biggest play of the game. An interception in the red zone not only kept the Broncos from scoring, but the return set up the Patriots for points on the other side of the field.
Dion Lewis, Patriots: While many were expecting a big game from LeGarrette Blount on Sunday, it was instead Dion Lewis who torched the Broncos run defense. Lewis was able to total 95 rushing yards, but Blount did find the end zone for the Patriots.
Trey Flowers, Patriots: One of the differences in the game was the pass rush of the Patriots on the Broncos. Led by two sacks by Trey Flowers, the Patriots were able to bother Trevor Siemian throughout the game.
.@LG_Blount scores his 15th rushing TD of the season!
Next up for the Patriots will be their second matchup of the season against the New York Jets. The Jets played the Patriots tough in their first matchup, but they are a team that hasn’t anything to play for.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Tom Brady set the NFL record for regular-season victories by a quarterback, getting his 187th as the New England Patriots held on for a 24-17 win over the New York Jets on Sunday to claim first place in the AFC East.
The Patriots (4-2) were playing their first game in 10 days after beating Tampa Bay 19-14 on Oct. 5, and appeared a bit rusty early as they fell behind 14-0 in the second quarter against the surprising Jets (3-3).
New York had a chance to tie the game after getting the ball back with 1:53 remaining, but the Patriots’ 32nd-ranked overall defense held on — forcing Josh McCown to throw incomplete on a desperation heave on fourth-and-17 from the 50, and ending the Jets’ three-game winning streak.
Brady, who broke a tie with Peyton Manning and Brett Favre for the record, got going just before halftime as the Patriots tied it at 14 with 9 seconds left in the second quarter.
Brady then marched the Patriots down the field on their opening drive of the second half, going eight plays and 75 yards to give New England its first lead at 21-14 with a 33-yard pass to Rob Gronkowski.
Brady finished 20 of 38 for 257 yards with two touchdowns to Gronkowski and an interception. Dion Lewis also had a 1-yard TD run.
After Stephen Gostkowski’s 28-yard field goal made it 24-14 50 seconds into the fourth quarter, New York appeared to make it a one-score game again on its next possession as Austin Seferian-Jenkins took a short pass from McCown and reached over the goal line for a 4-yard touchdown.
But officials reviewed the score and said the video replay showed that Seferian-Jenkins slightly lost control of the ball as he went out of bounds on the side of the end zone, resulting in a touchback — despite the ball never hitting the ground. That gave the Patriots back the ball, with the Jets’ sideline irate.
But after the Patriots went three-and-out, the Jets were able to cut it to a one-score game on Chandler Catanzaro’s 28-yard field goal with 3:40 left. But their last-minute comeback attempt fell short.
The Jets talked all week about starting faster and McCown got things going right away in this one, capping a 13-play, 88-yard opening drive with a 1-yard TD pass to Seferian-Jenkins.
New York converted three third-down situations on the drive: a 23-yard pass to Robby Anderson, a 16-yard run by McCown and an impressive 30-yard grab by Jeremy Kerley, who went up for the ball and fought off a defender to come down with it at the Patriots 1.
The Patriots’ second possession ended on a fumble by Mike Gillislee, who had the ball punched out from behind by Darron Lee. Buster Skrine recovered, giving the Jets the ball at their 22.
New York turned that into another score. McCown connected with Jermaine Kearse for 16 yards on third-and-5 from the 47 and then floated a pass over the outstretched arms of Malcolm Butler and right to Kerley, who leaped over the cornerback to snatch the ball and then skipped into the end zone untouched to make it 14-0.
It marked the first time New England trailed by 14 or more points in the first half since Week 4 of the 2014 season at Kansas City. According to the Jets, the last time they led the Patriots in the second quarter by 14 or more at home was the last regular-season game of the 1998 season, when New York was up 17-0.
Brady then led the Patriots on a 93-yard drive that was capped by Lewis’ 1-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 14-7 with 5:19 left in the first half. Skrine nearly picked off Brady early in the drive, dropping a pass intended for Gronkowski. A few plays later, rookie safety Jamal Adams was called for pass interference on Gronkowski, putting the ball at the Jets 1.
Gostkowski was later wide right on a 47-yard attempt — his first miss after making 12 straight.Related Articles
McCown finished 31 of 47 for 354 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Seferian-Jenkins had a career-high eight catches for 46 yards.
ROAD WARRIORS: The Patriots have won six of the last seven meetings with the Jets and 11 of the last 13. They have also won 11 straight road games, the second-best streak in team history since they won 12 in a row from 2006-08.
INJURED: Jets leading rusher Bilal Powell was out after missing practice all week with a strained calf. Matt Forte, however, returned and finished with 22 yards on nine carries and eight catches for 59 yards.
Patriots cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore (concussion) and Eric Rowe (groin) sat out, as did rookie linebacker Harvey Langi, who was hospitalized following a car accident in Foxborough, Massachusetts, on Friday night.
USA Today Sports
New England Patriots vs. Denver BroncosNFL: 4:25 PM EST Dec. 18, 2016
A rematch of last season’s AFC Championship Game will take place on Sunday, when the New England Patriots visit the Denver Broncos. The Patriots have won four games in a row, which has them a game ahead of Oakland and Kansas City for the top seed in the AFC Playoffs. On Monday night, New England took care of business at home with a 30-23 victory over Baltimore. Tom Brady threw for 406 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Patriots’ offensive assault.
The Denver Broncos defeated the Patriots in last season’s AFC Championship Game by a 20-18 final score and went on to win the Super Bowl. This season, the Broncos have eight victories and finish the last three weeks against the top three teams in the AFC. Last weekend, Denver could not get enough offense generated during a 13-10 road loss at Tennessee. Demaryius Thomas caught 10 passes for 126 yards in a losing effort.
New England is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games on the road.
New England is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road.
Denver is 6-2 ATS in its last 8 games at home.
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of New England's last 10 games.
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Denver's last 9 games.
New England TE Rob Gronkowski (back surgery) is on injured reserve and is out for the season. Without Gronk, Tom Brady and the New England offense have yet to miss a beat. Look for Denver to rise to the challenge and get a much needed win at home on Sunday. Final Score Prediction, Denver Broncos win outright as underdogs 24-20.Latest Articles Celtics at Cavaliers 10/17/17 - NBA Picks & Predictions Rockets at Warriors 10/17/17 - NBA Picks & Predictions Panthers at Flyers 10/17/17 - NHL Picks & Predictions Maple Leafs at Capitals 10/17/17 - NHL Picks & Predictions Avalanche at Predators 10/17/17 - NHL Picks & Predictions Blue Jackets at Jets 10/17/17 - NHL Picks & Predictions Mitch's NHL Video DOG OF DAY - TUESDAY 10/17/17 Astros at Yankees 10/17/17 - ALCS Game 4 - MLB Picks & Prediction. Dodgers at Cubs 10/17/17 - NLCS Game 3 - MLB Picks & Predictions Post your comment
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