2015 Broncos Season, AFC Title Game
Peyton Manning owns most of the passing records and is probably the greatest regular season quarterback of all time. Now he gets a chance to go out on top, just like John Elway.
AFC Championship: Broncos 20, New England Patriots 18
Season Record: 14-4 (8-2 home)
Key Play: In the fourth quarter, with 12 seconds left, Tom Brady connected with Rob Gronkowski for a touchdown to cut the lead to 20-18. On the two-point conversion, Bradley Roby picked off Brady in the end zone to seal the victory.
Recap: This has been a rough season to watch for the Broncos. I think it's taken years off my life. It's a season where we've looked bad on offense all year. A season where we had to go to overtime to beat the Browns. A season where Manning missed have the year with an injury and still led the NFL in interceptions for the regular season. But, in some ways, that's what's made it the most magical. The Broncos have been doubted and dismissed all year. But we've won. We've struggled a lot. But we've won. I think this season has taken years off my life, but at the end of the day you play to win the game. You play to get to the title game. You play to have a shot to win the championship. And that's what's happening for the Broncos. It was an emotional day. It was a tense day. It's a day we owe to Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib, Chris Harris, Jr., Roby, and Wade Phillips. But we made it. I spent a while in disbelief, tears of joy and relief, as the Broncos topped the Patriots — for the third straight time at home in the Playoffs — to win the game 20-18. After a season where I often didn't know what to make of the Broncos, they are one win away from their first World Championship in 17 years. It's Super Bowl 50. It's likely Peyton's last ride. Can he go out on top? I think so; I hope so. I still believe!
* Von Miller. Von is a game-changing disruptive force. He had 2.5 sacks, rented space in Brady's head, and had a key interception in the game. He was the man.
* Bradley Roby. He's had an up-and-down second season, but he was big when it mattered most. He made that INT in the end zone and sealed the win.
* Owen Daniels. Daniels caught only two passes for 33 yards, but they were both for touchdowns.
* CJ Anderson. Anderson didn't have an incredible game, but he had 72 hard yards on 16 carries, including a 30-yard scamper in the second half that set up the only points in the half for the Broncos.
* Peyton Manning. It wasn't always pretty, but he had two touchdown passes and no interceptions. Another playoff game without a turnover.
* Carolina Panthers. That's it now. Can we stop Cam Newton? Can we move against the Panthers' defense? We have two weeks to find out.