AFC championship preview: Clash of Broncos, Patriots to renew historic rivalry between Peyton Manning, Tom Brady

Published: Thursday, Jan. 16 2014 11:14 a.m. MST

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Towards the end of November, the Broncos headed to New England to play the Patriots, a matchup that was highly anticipated for NFL fans everywhere, as it featured yet another matchup between Brady and Manning.

It got ugly early for the Patriots as the Broncos' offense, defense and special teams put points on the board in the first quarter. By halftime, it looked as though the game was over, Denver leading New England 24-0. But as many are well aware, with Tom Brady under center, the game is never over.

Brady led the Patriots with 31 unanswered points and took the lead in the fourth quarter. With just over three minutes left in the game, a touchdown pass from Manning tied the game at 31-31, which led to the game going into overtime.

In overtime, both teams exchanged punts before special teams confusion caused the Broncos to fumble the ball at their 13-yard line, which the Patriots recovered. After a Stephen Gostkowski field goal, the Patriots won 34-31.

Brady finished the game passing for 344 yards and three touchdowns. Denver running back Knowshon Moreno ran for 224 yards and a score.

Look for the Broncos to establish Moreno as a rushing threat once again, and if they can control the tempo of the game, then they have a great chance at winning. As for the Patriots, they will likely rely more on their running game than they did in November, but if the game starts to get out of hand, don't be surprised if Brady opens up the same passing attack that he displayed earlier.
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