The Denver Broncos won their 7th AFC title today by getting rid of that Monkey (Tom Brady & the Patriots) off their back. Though the final score ended up 26-16, the game wasn’t that close at all. Denver’s Offense cruised out to a 10 point lead before the Pats could respond. The Broncos Defense held them to a Field Goal all the way up to 9:26 mark of the 4th Quarter and even then, they were in their “Prevent Defense.” On this occasion, the Denver “D” prevented the New England Patriots from getting in the way of presenting Pat Bowlen with his 6th Lamar Hunt trophy as owner. Not only that, but Cornerback Champ Bailey is that much closer to putting a Bow on a Hall of Fame career.
After the Patriots first two series resulted in 3 and outs, New England moved the ball down to the Denver 33 before an Offensive Pass Interference call on Tight End Michael Hoomanawanui set them Back to a 3rd and 20 and the Pats ended up having to Punt.
After Patriots punter Ryan Allen pinned the Broncos at their own 7 yard line, Peyton Manning led Denver on one of their longest time consuming drives all season–10 plays, 93 yards and ending with a 1-yard Touchdown pass to Jacob Tamme that ate 7 minutes off the clock. The Broncos were able to put together another 7 minute TD drive in the 3rd Quarter to establish a 20-3 lead.
The Defense held New England’s Running game to 64 total yards and picked up two timely Sacks. The first one came on a 3rd and 8 stop by Robert Ayers in the 2nd stanza that forced the Pat’s into a Field Goal. The other on a 4th and 3 stuff by Terrance Knighton with 2 1/2 minutes left in the game. “T-Knight” was like a Bull in a China Shop the whole game.
Peyton Manning threw for 400 yards, with a pair of TD passes. Eight different players caught at least one of Manning’s 32 completions. Demaryius Thomas was in “Beast Mode” catching 7 balls for 134 yards and a score, averaging 19.1 yards. Thomas moved into 5th place for the all-time postseason receiving yards in Broncos history. He needs 6 yards to pass Ed McCaffrey and 21 to pass Shannon Sharpe, who is third with 505 yards receiving in the playoffs.
Manning became the 4th Quarterback in the Super Bowl era to lead the league in passing yards (5,477) and TD’s (55) and also advance to the Super Bowl that season. He joins Pro Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino (1984), Kurt Warner (2001) and Tom Brady (2007) as the only QBs to accomplish the feat.
This victory makes head coach John Fox just the sixth coach in NFL history to lead two different franchises to the Super Bowl. It also puts Vice President of Football Operations John Elway in the conversation for NFL Executive of the Year after being the runner-up last season.
The 15th battle between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady produced the 15th Bronco victory in 2013. Denver will make it’s first Super Bowl appearance since John Elway rode into retirement with his second Lombardi trophy. Coincidently, Peyton Manning will be looking for his own second Super Bowl win in less than 15 days.
The Broncos final goal of the year comes on Sunday February 2nd, a meeting with the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium, New York-New Jersey.
That gives Broncos Country 2 weeks to celebrate this win!
– Kaptain Kirk