The 2014 AFC Championship Game featured two of the NFL‘s best quarterbacks in Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. While Manning initially struggled, he found success down the stretch; however, the Denver Broncos stymied him and his team, advancing to Super Bowl XLVIII behind a 26-16. The Broncos should have zero issues stopping either Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson in two weeks.
Throughout the week, many experts and analysts predicted that Sunday’s AFC Championship game would be a shootout with the winning touchdown drive to come in the game’s final moments. But the opposite happened for the New England Patriots‘ offense. Denver pressured and frazzled Brady as the elite quarterback tried to push his team down the field.
Behind two sacks, three tackles for a loss and three quarterback hits, the Broncos’ defense was all over Brady like peanut butter on jelly. Nonetheless, it was the Broncos’ defense who carried the team overall. Manning still played well, but the defense impressed more.
With Super Bowl XLVIII set to be played in two weeks, the Broncos are the clear favorites not because of Manning, but the defense. Kaepernick and Wilson is nowhere as good as Brady, so the Broncos should have no problems disrupting their opponent’s offensive scheme and wrecking havoc at MetLife Stadium.
For now, Denver and their fans can be happy that they are heading back to the Super Bowl. It was an all-around great performance by Denver, but it was the defense that deserves the praise for containing Brady and preventing his receiving corps from making big catches down the stretch.
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