KUSA - The Denver Broncos are heading to Super Bowl XLVIII to face the Seattle Seahawks on Feb. 2, 2014. Let's remember their road to the Super Bowl:
Week 1 49-27 win vs. Baltimore
In the Thursday night NFL opener against the Super Bowl champions, Peyton Manning started his NFL-record season with seven touchdown passes as the Broncos rolled in the second half. He became the seventh player in league history to throw seven TDs. He finished with 462 yards passing (27-of-42), and it was the most points the Ravens had given up in team history.
Week 2 41-23 win at N.Y. Giants
Peyton won the battle of the Manning's against Eli. After the Giants pulled within 17-16, the Broncos scored three times - running, passing and special teams (Trindon Holliday 81-yard punt return) - in barely five minutes to break open the game with a 38-16 lead.
Week 3 37-21 win vs. Oakland
Peyton Manning was nearly flawless in the Monday night game as he was 32-of-37 passing for 374 yards and at one point completed 15 consecutive passes. It was the first game without left tackle Ryan Clady, and Chris Clark protected Manning's blindside well. The Broncos' defense held Terrelle Pryor to three-and-out on the Raiders' first three possessions.
Week 4 52-20 win vs. Philadelphia
The Broncos' offense continued to roll, setting a franchise record for points in a game. It wasn't just the offense that got into the end zone. The special teams scored twice - first on Trindon Holliday's 105-yard kickoff return - then in the fourth quarter when Steven Johnson blocked a punt and returned 17 yards for a 49-13 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Week 5 51-48 win at Dallas
Who will ever forget the Manning bootleg play? Or Knowshon Moreno needed to get a first down at the 2-yard line late in the game to run out the clock but not score. He did it with 1:35 to play, and Matt Prater kicked the game-winning field goal as time expired. It was Denver's worst game defensively as Tony Romo threw for a team-record 506 yards but had a costly interception to set up the Broncos' final field goal.
Week 6 35-19 win vs. Jacksonville
Manning had three turnovers, but Knowshon Moreno scored three touchdowns in the second half as the Broncos pulled away from the overmatched Jaguars. Paul Posluszny intercepted Manning and returned it 59 yards to pull within 14-12 and then trailed just 21-19 in the third quarter, but then Moreno took over.
Week 7 39-33 loss at Indianapolis
In his first return to Indianapolis since being released in March 2012, Manning finished with 386 yards passing and three touchdowns, but it wasn't enough against his Colts' replacement Andrew Luck. Indy got nine points out of a second-quarter strip sack, and Luck scored on a 10-yard run in the third quarter. When Denver finally had a chance to tie it, Manning was intercepted.
Week 8 45-21 win vs. Washington
The Broncos' trio of running backs combined for 192 yards as the Broncos spoiled Mike Shanahan's return to Denver the week after Manning's return trip to Indy. The Redskins' defense struggled as Manning threw for 354 yards to give him an NFL-record 2,919 yards through eight games.
Week 9 bye
Week 10 28-20 win at San Diego
Denver's offense worked quickly. The Broncos' longest scoring drive was 3:26 when they took a 28-6 lead on Manning's third TD pass to Demaryius Thomas to open the second half. Manning re-injured his ankle on the last drive but stayed in the game. It was won No. 300 for Broncos owner Pat Bowlen.
Week 11 27-17 win vs. Kansas City
With a bum ankle, Manning got stellar pass protection from his line and was not sacked by a defense that came in leading the league with 36 sacks. With Moreno running a season-high 27 times and rookie Monte Ball scoring his second and third career TDs, the Broncos' offense was more balanced to take pressure off Manning's passing game.
Week 12 34-31 loss at New England
It will forever be remembered as the game the Broncos' gave away. After the Broncos' defense (led by Von Miller, who had his best game) flustered and attacked Tom Brady to the tune of three turnovers in the first half, Denver claimed a 24-0 lead at halftime. But Brady rallied for 31 unanswered points then won in overtime after Denver muffed a punt return when the ball hit Tony Carter at the 13-yard line and the Patriots recovered.
Week 13 35-28 win at Kansas City
Eric Decker set a team-record with four touchdown catches, many against Chiefs rookie Marcus Cooper, as the Broncos separated themselves from Kansas City in the AFC West standings. Denver trailed 21-14 at halftime but scored on drives of 80, 92 and 95 yards to take control. Decker became the key receiver with Julius Thomas out (knee) and Demaryius Thomas slowed by a sore shoulder.
Week 14 51-28 win vs. Tennessee
Matt Prater got in on the NFL record-breaking season, kicking a 64-yard field goal just before halftime to pull within 21-20 and give the Broncos momentum. Denver scored on its first two drives of the second half, the second set up by Terrance Knighton's interception to set up Moreno's 1-yard score, which was his 10th rushing TD of the season. The win secured the Broncos' spot in the playoffs.
Week 15 27-20 loss vs. San Diego
Playing on a Thursday night, the Broncos seemed tired and unfocused as the Chargers got redemption from the loss in San Diego earlier in the season. After Denver took a 10-3 lead, they punted on four consecutive drives. Between the second and third quarters, the Broncos had just 30 yards of offense. San Diego had the ball for nearly 39 minutes to the Broncos 21 minutes.
Week 16 37-13 win at Houston
Manning broke the NFL record for passing TDs in a season, getting No. 51 with a pass to Julius Thomas in the fourth quarter. The Broncos secured their third consecutive AFC West title, and kept the lead on the top seed for the postseason. Houston pulled within 16-13 in the third quarter, but got a spark from Mike Adams' interception at the 20-yard line and Denver scored two plays later for a 23-13 lead.
Week 17 34-13 win at Oakland
Denver scored on five consecutive drives and secured the AFC's top spot with the win. In addition to increasing his NFL-record to 55 TD passes for the season, Manning set the league record passing yards at 5,477 on a 5-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas to take a 31-0 lead just before halftime.
AFC DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS
24-17 win vs. San Diego
The Broncos' defense held the Chargers scoreless and allowed just 79 yards through the first three quarters, but after Chris Harris Jr. was injured Philip Rivers made it a game with 180 yards in the fourth quarter. San Diego pulled within 24-14 then recovered an onside kick but had to settle for a field goal and the Broncos' offense ran out the final 3:53.
AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
26-16 win vs. New England
The Broncos kept Brady and the Patriots' offense off the field with two touchdown drives that totaled more than 14 minutes and scored on six consecutive possessions. Denver earned its seventh trip to the Super Bowl, but had to hold off a charging Patriots' offense. Brady ran in from three yards out to pull within 26-16, but they failed on the two-point conversion and the Broncos made first downs to run out the final minutes.
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