Broncos smother Patriots to move into Super Bowl 50


A crucial Aqip Talib deflection and interception from Bradley Roby ensured the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning booked their place at Super Bowl 50 in dramatic fashion, overcoming the New England Patriots 20-18 in the AFC Championship game.

With 17 seconds left on the clock and his side eight points down, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady needed to find the crucial touchdown pass and back it up with a two-point conversion.

He ticked the first box when he came good with a four-yard pass to Rob Gronkowski, who received eight passes for 144 yards, as the Broncos superb coverage suffered a rare lapse to bring the Patriots within two points.

But he fell agonisingly short of the two-point conversion as Talib was quickest to react, punching clear the attempted pass into the hands of Roby who dashed away with the ball and with it the Patriots' hopes of going back-to-back.

As a result, Manning now heads into his fourth championship game.

The Broncos quarterback threw two touchdown passes as he completed 17 of 32 attempted passes for 176 yards.

He threw his first in the opening quarter when he found Owen Daniels who rushed home for a 21-yard touchdown to open the scoring - just his second touchdown pass at Mile High this season.

Brandon McManus made no mistakes with the conversion, unlike his Patriots counterpart Stephen Gostowski, after Steven Jackson scored his first post-season touchdown with a one-yard rush.

The Broncos were then able to increase their lead when Manning threw his second touchdown with a 12-yard pass to Daniels, who was once again able to evade the Patriots defence to open the second quarter.

The two teams traded field goals thereafter, with Gostowski nailing a 46-yard field goal only to be trumped by McManus who found his mark from 52 yards, helping the Broncos to a 17-9 half-time lead.

The Broncos could not register in the third quarter, but their exceptional coverage ensured Brady had little to work with, as the Patriots had to settle for a single field goal for their efforts.

In the end, a 31-yard field goal from McManus five minutes into the final quarter proved the clincher, after Manning's third-and-goal pass to Jordan Norwood was just out of the receiver's reach.

The Patriots had two drives before their final play and failed to score, before Brady's last-ditch heroics felt just short, allowing Talib and Roby to combine to seal Denver's ticket to Santa Clara.