Prior to today’s game against the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning had received an onslaught of criticism on whether he would be able to lead the Broncos to a victory over the Patriots. During his career, the rivalry between Manning and the Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, has been the source of many memorable moments in the NFL. However, Manning was able to overcome the harsh skepticism, and lead the Broncos to a 26-16 victory over the New England Patriots. With this victory, Manning has ensured that both the Broncos and his legacy continue into the Super Bowl.
It was only two years ago that the NFL questioned whether Peyton Manning would ever throw another pass. However, in today’s game against the Patriots, Manning’s passing was phenomenal, on par with what was expected of him during his days in a Colts uniform. During today’s game against the Patriots, Manning managed to complete 75 percent of his attempted passed for a total of 400 passing yards. In addition, Manning threw two touchdowns and had no interceptions in today’s AFC Championship game.
From the beginning of the game, the Broncos outplayed the Patriots in every aspect, and in the end, the best team won with a Denver Broncos victory. The game started with Manning and the Broncos taking an early lead, and once they had it, there was no looking back. It was during the second quarter that the Patriots suffered the loss of their number one cornerback, Aqib Talib. From that point on Peyton Manning had his way with the New England defense.
Peyton Manning had a touchdown drive lasting over seven minutes in both the first and second halves of the game. In addition, the Broncos as a team controlled the ball for close to 36 minutes, whereas the Patriots only had possession of the ball for 24.
The defense for the Broncos also did exceptionally well, managing to impede on the Patriots’ ability to score for the first three quarters of the game. It was only in the fourth quarter of the game that a comeback sparked by Brady seemed possible, however, the performance of the Broncos during the first three quarters had distanced them far enough in the lead to prevent this from happening. When discussing the matter, Patriots coach Bill Belichick expressed his disappointment with his statement , “I wish we could’ve done a little better today, especially me.”
Although the game was won by the Broncos as a team, Peyton Manning has received the majority of the attention following the Broncos win. With this win, Manning is looking at his third Super Bowl appearance, and an opportunity for a second Super Bowl victory.
In addition, with this win Manning has ensured that his legacy continues into the Super Bowl. Manning could be the first quarterback to have won a Super Bowl with two different teams if the Broncos win the Super Bowl. Following the game, the Broncos wait patiently to hear the news of whether they will be playing the San Francisco 49ers or the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. This is the first time that the Broncos have made a Super Bowl appearance since 1998, when the team was lead by then quarterback John Elway.
By Aaron Weis