The New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos are just a few hours away from kicking off in the AFC Conference Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado. This is the Patriots fifth straight AFC Conference Championship game.
Two years ago, also in Denver, the Broncos defeated the Patriots for the right to advance to the first-ever cold weather Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in North Jersey. The Broncos also defeated the Patriots earlier this season in overtime when Rob Gronkowski got injured — and Tom Brady was already without Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola in the game, as well.
The Patriots will defeat the Broncos, 22-17. This is according to our whatifsports.com simulation.
The Patriots had the ball for 32 minutes and five seconds, while the Broncos had it for 27 minutes and 55 seconds. New England also out gained Denver 273 to 223.
Broncos signal caller Peyton Manning went 15-of-33 for 186 yards and a touchdown. If this simulation is indeed the result of the game, it wouldn’t be surprising if the 39-year-old steps away from the game in the off-season.
Denver was led in rushing by C.J. Anderson, who had 28-yards and a touchdown. Ronnie Hillman also had 22-yards.
Hillman led the team in receiving with 49-yards. Demaryius Thomas also had 49-yards and a touchdown. Anderson added 47-yards — and he was also voted as the player of the game — and Owen Daniels added 18-yards. Emmanuel Sanders had 13-yards and Cody Latimer added 10-yards.
Patriots legendary quarterback Tom Brady went 17-of-27 for 198 yards and a touchdown with an interception. Brady continues his redemption tour to the Super Bowl after dealing with Deflategate drama for much of his off-season.
Steven Jackson — who was signed late in the regular season — led the team in rushing with 52-yards. Brandon Boldin had 40-yards and a touchdown. James White had two-yards, while Brady had -2-yards.
Brandon LaFell had 59 receiving yards, while Edelman had 58-yards and Amendola had 22-yards and a touchdown. Boldin also had 20-yards.
Gronkowski had 14-yards, while Keshawn Martin had 11-yards and Jackson had a catch for seven-yards. White also had a catch for seven-yards.
The Patriots defense was led by Patrick Chung, who had four tackles. Kevin Snyder — who was just signed by the team yesterday as linebacker depth — had three tackles. Akiem Nicks, Malcolm Butler and Nate Ebner also had three tackles each.
Brock Vereen and Rashaan Melvin led the group with two tackles each. Jonathan Bostic, Tavon Wilson and Jonathan Freeny also had two tackles each.
The Broncos defense was led by Shaquil Barrett and Siona Fua, who had four tackles each. DeMarcus Ware, Lorenzo Doss, Corey Nelson and Chris Harris had three tackles each, while Ware also had a sack and an interception.
Josh Bush and Todd Davis led the group with two tackles each. Sylvester Williams, Malik Jackson, Curtis Marsh, T. J. Ward and Aqib Talib also had two tackles each, while Ward also had a sack.
Bolden scored on a five-yard run with 12:48 left in the game for the 22-17 lead.
After being down 15-3 to begin the third quarter, they ended the quarter with a 15-17 lead. Anderson made it 15-10 when he scored on an 8-yard run.
Thomas than caught an 8-yard touchdown reception from Manning. This gave Denver the 17-15 lead with 7:21 left in the quarter.
Brandon McManus put the Broncos on the board when he made a 41-yard field goal with 7:05 left in the second quarter to make it 8-3.
With 1:41 left before halftime, Amendola caught a 9-yard touchdown from Brady for the 15-3 lead.
Stephen Gostkowski made two first quarter field goals. The Patriots also had a team safety as they went up 8-0.
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