The AFC Championship Game, which took place today (Sun., Jan. 19, 2014) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Colorado, is officially in the books and the Denver Broncos defeated the New England Patriots by a final score of 26-16 to advance to Super Bowl 48 in New Jersey.
The game wasn't nearly as close as the final score indicates.
Actually, Denver was dominant throughout, using long, efficient drives to move up and down the field at will. They didn't score on the level they did during the regular season -- 26 was their third lowest total of the year, actually -- but Peyton Manning threw for 400 yards and 2 touchdowns while Knowshon Moreno and Montee Ball chipped in with over 100 yards on the ground to put the game just out of Tom Brady's reach.
Speaking of Brady, he struggled throughout the day, overthrowing receivers and missing on routine routes he's made a living off of being accurate on. Also an issue? LeGarratte Blount, who ran for a Patriots record 166 yards last week, had just 6 yards on 5 carries.
New England's leading rusher was Shane Vereen, who had a total of just 34 yards on the ground.
The Patriots were out-gained by the Broncos on offense, 320-507, gave up two sacks while failing to pressure Manning, and, most importantly, scored 10 fewer points.
That's why the Broncos will now await the winner of the San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks NFC Championship Game in the Super Bowl.
For complete live updates and quarter-by-quarter coverage of the game click here.