NFL Playoff Recap: Broncos Edge Patriots, 20-18, Advance To Super Bowl 50
Cornerback Bradley Roby intercepted Tom Brady's 2-point conversion attempt with 12 seconds to play, and the Broncos held on to beat the New England Patriots, 20-18, in the AFC Championship Game in Denver on Sunday afternoon.
The win allowed the Broncos to advance to their second Super Bowl in three years and eighth in franchise history.
Denver never trailed in the game thanks to an inspired performance by quarterback Peyton Manning, who advanced to play in the fourth Super Bowl of his career. Manning completed 17 of 32 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns, both to tight end Owen Daniels in the first half.
The Broncos defense dominated the game, pressuring Brady all afternoon and sacking him four times. Denver pass rusher Von Miller had 2½ sacks and an interception, one of two Brady threw on the day.
Trailing 20-12 in the fourth quarter, Brady marched New England down the field and came up empty twice inside the Broncos' 20. He finally connected with Rob Gronkowski on a four-yard touchdown pass with 12 seconds left that set up the failed 2-point try.
The Patriots had to attempt the conversion, because Stephen Gostkowski missed an extra point in the first quarter after Steven Jackson’s 1-yard touchdown run. If Gostkowski had made that kick and one after the final touchdown, the game might have gone to overtime.
Brady finished 27-for-56 for 310 yards, with two interceptions and a touchdown. Gronkowski caught eight passes for 144 yards and a score.
Denver will play the winner of the Carolina-Arizona NFC title game in Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, Calif. on Sunday, February 7.