The Denver Broncos defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers to advance to the AFC Championship and host the New England Patriots on Sunday. Before we get into that match up. Let’s talk about the win over Pittsburgh. Last week I predicted the win by 10 points but it was closer than that. The Steelers leading receiver Antonio Brown was out with a concussion and QB Ben Roethlisberger suffered a shoulder injury during last week’s Wild Card game. Let’s take a closer look at the Broncos 23-16 victory that has put Denver in a great position to go to Super Bowl 50 and win.
Peyton Manning looked less than stellar in the first half with dropped passes and off target passes to his receivers. You have to remember that Peyton Manning is a timing quarterback that relies on his receivers being in the right spots on the field. Well, the second half they began to put it all together. Long scoring drives resulting in field goals instead of touchdowns kept the Broncos close. The 1-yard touchdown run by C. J. Anderson gave the team a boost and converting the 2-point conversion surprised the fans. Denver looked like a well oiled machine in the 4th quarter to seal the win.
What can you say? The defense led by Aqib Talib covered the Steelers wide outs when it counted. Martavis Bryant looked like an All-Pro receiver in the first half but the defense countered with every play on every series which kept the offense in striking distance. Pittsburgh had eight receivers catching at least one pass but never reaching the end zone. Derek Wolf, DeMarcus Ware and Antonio Smith each recorded a sack against Big Ben to stall the Steelers offense in crucial times of the game. Defense wins championships!
Denver hosts the New England Patriots to see who will represent the AFC in Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco. This marks the fifth consecutive AFC Conference championship game appearance for the Patriots. It is only fitting that fans get one last Brady vs. Manning match up in this highly anticipated game.