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Broncos Defense Holds Off Patriots, Secures A Super Bowl Berth

Jan 24, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) drops back to pass against the New England Patriots in the first quarter in the AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos with one of the best defensive performances in the postseason hold off the New England Patriots 20-18 to secure a Super Bowl Berth.

This is the Broncos eighth trip to the Super Bowl in franchise history. They went into this game as underdogs at home against the Patriots. People believe Peyton Manning was washed up and the defense couldn’t do anything to Tom Brady due to his quick release of the football in less than two seconds. But were they all wrong from the start of the game.

In the first quarter Patriots scored on a fumble recovery and kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed an extra point. They couldn’t do anything against the whole Denver defense. Brady was hit 23 times, throwing two uncharacteristic interceptions. He kept it close with Rob Gronkowski making big plays after another, catching a late touchdown in the fourth quarter. Brady failed to convert the two point conversation when the ball was intercepted, ending their chance of making a Super Bowl for the second straight season.

“For it to come down to a two-point conversion obviously is a tough way to finish the season,” offered a dejected Brady after the game according to Yahoo Sports. “We had some tough plays we just didn’t make them. Just came up one play short.”

Manning now is 3-2 against the Brady in the postseason. The five time NFL most valuable player had something left in the tank even at age 39. He continues to make plays with his intelligence despite the lack of arm strength. It was a special win for him against the best head coach and quarterback duo in NFL history.

“To be going to our second Super Bowl in four years is very special and just an awesome effort by our entire team,” Manning, who will become the oldest quarterback to play in a Super Bowl, told the Denver crowd according to Yahoo Sports. “And what an incredible effort by the Patriots, for us to beat that team today, a very special win. It’s been a special rivalry (with Brady) over the course of our career … I just wanted to take the time to share with Tom (Brady) and Bill (Belichick) how much respect I have for them and just what special coaches and players they are.”

The Broncos now take on the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 on Feb 7.

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