The Denver Broncos are going to the Super Bowl after a flawless performance from Peyton Manning in the AFC championships game.
Denver beat the New England Patriots 26-16. The Patriots, without the dominant running game that emerged over the last two months, never got within 10 points in the second half.
Manning’s box score was ridiculous: 32 for 43, 400 yards, 2 TDs, O INTs, 118.4 QB rating.
It was one of his best playoff games ever, and it should end the notion that he chokes in the playoffs for good. It’s the third time he has thrown for 400+ yards in a playoff game, and the first time since 2008.
You don’t see performances like these from 37-year-olds, much less 37-year-olds who’ve undergone multiple neck surgeries.
Tom Brady, on the other hand, struggled at times. His stat line (24 for 28, 277 yards 1 TD, 0 INTs) looks fine, but he made some bad throws — including two overthrows on deep balls that could have turned the game around.
The Patriots had leaned heavily on the running game after the Rob Gronkowski injury. It was nonexistent on Sunday. They finished with 64 rushing yards on 16 carries.
The Broncos were the best team in the AFC all year long. In the end, Manning and the Broncos were the more complete team by a wide margin.
Brady vs. Manning today, in two GIFs.
Peyton confetti face:
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