The AFC Championship Game
New England Patriots (10) at Denver Broncos (31)
Might this be the last epic Peyton Manning-Tom Brady playoff duel? It might be, and this one was an instant classic.
The two teams traded scores throughout the first half, with neither team ever leading by more than a four points. There were no big plays to be had, so the offenses had to put together very long drives to get on the scoreboard.
The third quarter was marked by missed opportunities. The Patriots failed on 4th down at the Denver 27. The Broncos missed a 31-yard field goal. New England had a long drive end in a punt because of holding penalty and sack that pushed them out of field goal range.
That meant that New England had the ball down just four headed into the fourth quarter. Then disaster struck.
Brady was sacked by Von Miller, and the ball was scooped up for a defensive score. On the first play of the next possession, Brady threw an interception. Denver turned that into three points.
On the ensuing drive, Brady threw yet another interception, his third of the game. Three plays later, the rout was on as Denver punched it in for a touchdown.
In a matter of three minutes, Denver had scored 17 points. It only took them 22 yards of offense for that to happen.
Brady would add another interception (his fourth turnover of the quarter and 5th of the game) before the game was over. A few Peyton Manning kneel-downs was all it took to wrap up a game that always felt much closer than the score says it was.
Denver is on to Super Bowl 50.
Next: The Super Bowl!