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Broncos Patriots final score in the AFC Championship Game: Broncos dominate Patriots 26-16

Peyton Manning's got your legacy right here. A mistake-free, 400-yard performance from the eventual League MVP led the Broncos to a two-score victory over the AFC's 2nd seed. The Denver Broncos are going to the Super Bowl!

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

It's been 15 years since I've been able to say it, and it's so thrilling to say.

The Denver Broncos are going to the Super Bowl.

A dominating, mistake-free, 400-yard performance by Peyton Manning led the Broncos to victory in the 2013-2014 AFC Championship Game. Clutch offensive plays by the offensive line, Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas, and Jacob Tamme led Denver to an early lead they would never relent. Denver's defense, led by game-changing plays from Terrance Knighton, Shaun Phillips, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Tony Carter, and Robert Ayers, stifled the Patriots throughout the contest.

The Broncos thoroughly dominated the Patriots from start to finish, and they didn't allow the Patriots a touchdown until the fourth quarter.

The Game-Changing Plays and Top Performances

What a team win, emphasis on team. The Broncos beat the Patriots from top to bottom.

  • Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie made a huge tackle on the first play of the game, then followed it up with supreme coverage in 3rd down. The Patriots went 3-and-out. They would again a series later.
  • Tony Carter also had a great game filling in for Chris Harris Jr. on nickel downs. He went down in the fourth quarter; hopefully he's
  • Peyton Manning hit Demaryius Thomas deep for 29 yards in the first quarter, setting up the first points of the game.
  • Knowshon Moreno had a lot of good runs, but a few plays were particularly huge. A 3rd and 10 run of 11 yards on the way to a Jacob Tamme touchdown; his screen run for 18 yards behind downfield blocks from Zane Beadles and Louis Vasquez; then, 3rd and 10, Knowshon Moreno ran off right tackle for a huge 28-yard game. The Patriots and Bill Belichick were flat out-coached by Adam Gase and company.
  • Denver's entire drive to open the second half really sealed the game. It was the Broncos' longest drive of the season, and it was dominating. Julius Thomas and Knowshon Moreno converted third downs on the 14-play, 90-yard drive that ate up 7:08 on the game clock, and Demaryius Thomas capped the drive with a 3-yard TD catch to make it Broncos 20, Patriots 3. The game was all but over.
  • Speaking of Demaryius Thomas: 7 catches, 134 yards (19.1 average), and a touchdown. Dominant.
  • A huge 4th down stop in the 3rd quarter kept the Broncos on track. On 4th and 3, Terrance Knighton brought down Tom Brady with a sack that changed the complexion of the game.
  • Peyton Manning finished with exactly 400 yards passing - his first 400-yard passing game against Bill Belichick's Patriots.

The Broncos are going to the Super Bowl. They are the best team in the AFC. With one more performance like that, they will be crowned the best team in the NFL.