In a classic clash of Brady vs Manning, the intense and suspenseful game crowned Denver as the AFC champions and a place in Super Bowl 50.
With the Patriots favored to win, it was Denver’s defense that ultimately pummeled the Patriots and its quarterback. Brady was limited to one touchdown with two interceptions and intercepted twice while throwing under .500. Rob Gronkowski went for 144 yds on 8 receptions as he was heavily guarded by the Bronco’s defense.
Von Miller was a key asset that was able to throw Brady off his game. With 5 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 1 interception by Miller, the Patriots were limited to only 18 points.Constant pressure caused Tom Brady to be hit 23 times.
As the Bronco’s defense prevented more points from going on the board the offense was able to manage its part with Manning throwing 2 touchdowns into the end zone with only 176 yds.
The missed field goal by Stephen Gostowski came back to haunt the Patriots in the fourth quarter. The pats were forced to go for the 2-point conversion that was ultimately intercepted by the Broncos. Gostowski called this a “nightmare scenario” per Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. Gostowski is known as one of the best kickers in the league.
Being so close to a back to back Super Bowl the Patriots now have to restart and rebuild in the offseason.
“We had some opportunities, but in the end came up just a little bit short,” Belicheck stated in a press conference on Monday. “It’s obviously a disappointing feeling at this time of year. We did a lot of good things. We won a lot of games. And came up short in the end. So it’s bittersweet.”
The history of the game gave CBS one of the highest rated AFC Championship Game in a 29 years. This maybe the last time that we see of any more Peyton Manning vs Tom Brady as Manning may be playing his last game ever in a couple of weeks. When these two both retire from the league, their impact and history on the game will be one to be remembered for a very long time.