The 2016 AFC Championship Game is set: Tom Brady and the New England Patriots will travel to Denver to take on Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
The winner will represent the AFC in Super Bowl 50 and will play either the Carolina Panthers or the Arizona Cardinals in Santa Clara.
It was a back-and-forth game throughout, and even though the Steelers dominated the pace of play for much of the contest without All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown and starting running back De'Angelo Williams, Pittsburgh couldn't pull away far enough to put the Denver offense in the dust. They allowed the Broncos to hang around and hang around until it came back to bite them in the worst way.
With the Steelers holding a 13-12 lead and driving midway through the fourth quarter, Broncos cornerback Bradley Roby knocked the ball out of Fitzgerald Toussiant's grip, kicking off a 13-play, 65-yard drive that saw C.J. Anderson punch in the touchdown with three minutes on the clock, followed by a successful two-point conversion.
After the two teams traded field goals in quick succession, the onside kick try from the Steelers failed miserably, sealing the win for the Broncos.
Quarterback Peyton Manning 21-of-37 for 222 yards, no touchdowns and a 74.4 rating., while Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger went 24-of-37 for 339 yards, no TDs and a 94.3 rating.
So, after five long months and two weeks of playoff football, the pieces shook out as Brady vs. Manning, Pats vs. Broncos in the AFC Championship Game. How fitting.
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