The Denver Broncos are going to the Super Bowl for the second time in three years. They defeated the New England Patriots in what can only be described as a "deflating" loss for the Jets' rival to the North. Denver won 20-18.
If this is to be the end of Peyton Manning's career, it will end on the game's biggest stage. Manning came out firing with a pair of first half touchdown passes to Owen Daniels to give Denver a lead it would never lose. Peyton is now 3-1 in his career against Brady in the AFC Championship Game.
From my first viewing, I give a lot of credit to Denver defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Tom Brady completed only 27 of his 56 passes. It seemed like Denver resisted the temptation to be aggressive up front. The Broncos were constantly throwing four and even three man pass rushes at Brady. They seemed to be changing looks on the back end of the defense and dropping defenders to clog passing lanes. The coverage held, and the passers got home consistently. Brady was knocked around all game.
The Patriots converted a pair of fourth downs on their final drive of the game, both getting to Rob Gronkowski despite double coverage. They missed on a two point conversion that would have sent the game to overtime, though.
The Broncos will face the winner of tonight's NFC Championship Game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.