DENVER, Sporting Alert – Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos are heading to their second Super Bowl in four years.
On Sunday, Manning went 17 of 32 on completed passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns without an interception to lead the Broncos to a 20-18 victory over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game.
It was the second time in four years Manning and Broncos were going to the Super Bowl after making the trip in 2013 when they were embarrassed 43-8 by the Seattle Seahawks.
Against the Patriots on Sunday, Owen Daniels took two touchdown catches and the Broncos’ (14-4) defense had a key stop on a New England late two-point conversion attempt to punch their ticket to Super Bowl 50.
Denver will face NFC championships title winners the Carolina Panthers for the Super Bowl title on Feb. 7. Cam Newton and Panthers hammered the Arizona Cardinals 49-15 in one-sided contest in Charlotte on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Tom Brady passed for 310 yards on 27 of 56 attempts with one touchdown, but he was under pressure the entire game and was intercepted twice in the defeat for the Patriots.
According to ESPN Stats and Info, it was the first time in his career Brady completed less than half of his passes and threw multiple picks in a game.
Rob Gronkowski had two big-time 4th-down receptions on the last drive, including a 4-yard touchdown to take the score to 20-18, but New England still came up short.
He finished with eight catches for 144 yards for the Patriots.
In looking back, the missed extra point in the first quarter by Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, came back to haunt the defending champions in the loss.
Gostkowski said after the game: “It’s kind of a cruel reality that it came down to that.
“… I just feel awful about it. It was my fault, 100 percent. I just didn’t hit a good kick.”