Broncos beat Steelers, 23-16, will host Patriots in AFC title game

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DENVER — The Broncos are off to the AFC Championship Game for the second time in three years — barely.

Brandon McManus kicked five field goals and C.J. Anderson scored a touchdown from 1 yard out with three minutes to play as the Broncos rallied to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 23-16, at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday.

The Broncos offense struggled most of the game but finally came to life in the fourth quarter as Denver trailed, 13-12. But the Broncos drove 65 yards in 13 plays, taking 6:52 off the clock and finally retaking the lead on Anderson’s touchdown.

The Broncos went for two and converted when quarterback Peyton Manning found Demaryius Thomas on the 2-yard pass play to make it 20-13.

The Steelers got one last shot and got to their 43-yard line, but on fourth down, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was sacked for a 13-yard loss by DeMarcus Ware.

Pittsburgh had two timeouts remaining, but McManus came through again, kicking a 45-yard field goal with 53 seconds to play.

The Steelers quickly moved into Broncos territory and got a 47-yard field goal from Chris Boswell to make it 23-16 with 19 seconds left.

But the Broncos got the onside kick, then Manning took a knee to end the game.

The Broncos will host the New England Patriots at 1 p.m. Sunday in the AFC Championship Game. The teams met in Denver for the AFC title two years ago, with the Broncos winning, 26-16, to advance to Super Bowl XLVIII.

It will be the 17th meeting between Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Relive the game below as it unfolded.

Broncos in AFC Championship Games

Jan. 1, 1978: Broncos 20, Oakland Raiders 17 (at Denver)

Jan. 11, 1987: Broncos 23, Cleveland Browns 20, OT (at Cleveland)

Jan. 17, 1988: Broncos 38, Cleveland Browns 33 (at Denver)

Jan. 14, 1990: Broncos 37, Cleveland Browns 21 (at Denver)

Jan. 12, 1992: Buffalo Bills 10, Broncos 7 (at Orchard Park, N.Y.)

Jan. 11, 1998: Broncos 24, Pittsburgh Steelers 21 (at Pittsburgh)

Jan. 17, 1999: Broncos 23, New York Jets 10 (at Denver)

Jan. 22, 2006: Pittsburgh Steelers 34, Broncos 17 (at Denver)

Jan. 19, 2014: Broncos 26, New England Patriots 16 (at Denver)

Overall: 7-2 (5-1 at home)

 

Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady

Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will square off for the 17th time in their careers and the fifth time since Manning has joined the Broncos. Their career matchups:

Sept. 30, 2001: Patriots 44, Colts 13

Oct. 21, 2001: Patriots 38, Colts 17

Nov. 30, 2003: Patriots 38, Colts 34

Jan. 18, 2004: Patriots 24, Colts 14 (AFC Championship Game)

Sept. 9, 2004: Patriots 27, Colts 24

Jan. 16, 2005: Patriots 20, Colts 3 (AFC divisional playoff game)

Nov. 7, 2005: Colts 40, Patriots 21

Nov. 5, 2006: Colts 27, Patriots 20

Jan. 21, 2007: Colts 38, Patriots 34 (AFC Championship Game)

Nov. 4, 2007: Patriots 24, Colts 20

Nov. 15, 2009: Colts 35, Patriots 34

Nov. 21, 2010: Patriots 31, Colts 28

Oct. 7, 2012: Patriots 31, Broncos 21

Nov. 24, 2013: Patriots 34, Broncos 31, OT

Jan. 19, 2014: Broncos 26, Patriots 16 (AFC Championship Game)

Nov. 2, 2014: Patriots 43, Broncos 21

Overall: Brady leads, 11-5

Manning with Broncos: Brady leads, 3-1 (Manning leads 1-0 in playoffs)

Playoffs: Tied, 2-2

The Broncos came out flying, with the defense getting a three-and-out, the Omar Bolden returned a punt 42 yards, setting up Denver at the Steelers 30-yard line.

After a first down, the drive stalled and the Broncos had to settle for a 28-yard field goal from Brandon McManus for a 3-0 lead with 11:21 to play in the first quarter.

After a shanked punt, the Broncos started their third drive at the Pittsburgh 31 but again could not take advantage with a touchdown. The Broncos managed only 8 yards and had to settle for a 41-yard field goal from McManus for a 6-0 lead with 3:40 left in the first quarter.

The Steelers took their next drive and went 80 yards in five plays, including a 40-yard run on a reverse and a 23-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Martavis Bryant.

The Steelers capped the drive when Fitzgerald Toussaint went into the end zone from 1 yard out to give Pittsburgh a 7-6 lead with 1:22 to play in the first quarter.

The Steelers went ahead, 10-6, with left 10:19 in the first half when Chris Boswell connected on a 43-yard field goal to a cap a seven-play, 60-yard drive. The drive was highlighted by a 58-yard pass play from Roethlisberger to a wide-open Darrius Heyward Bey.

The Broncos cut the deficit to 10-9 at halftime driving from their 5 to the Steelers 32 and getting an incredible 51 -yard field goal from McManus on the last play of the first half that snuck inside the right upright through a brutal cross wind.

Manning finished the first half 11 of 22 for 99 yards, but there six drops by the receivers. The Broncos rushed 13 times for 65 yards, but one rush was a 34-yarder.

After the Broncos were forced to punt on their first drive of the second half, the Steelers drove 69 yards in eight plays, including a 52-yard pass from Roethlisberger to Bryant on another blown coverage by the Broncos defense.

But the defense stiffened and the Steelers settled for a 28-yard field goal from Boswell to go ahead, 13-9, with 9:32 to play in the third quarter.

The Broncos got good field position midway through the third quarter, starting on their 41-yard line. Three consecutive plays resulted in first downs, but then Manning was sacked on first down and the Broncos couldn’t convert again on third down.

They settled for a 41-yard field goal from McManus to cut the deficit to 13-12 with 2:45 left in the third quarter.

The Broncos offense finally came to life late in the fourth quarter, driving 65 yards in 13 plays and taking 6:52 off the clock and capped off with a 1-yard run by C.J. Anderson.

The Broncos went for two when Manning hit Demaryius Thomas to the right to make it 20-13 with three minutes to play.

The Steelers got one last shot and got to their 43-yard line, but on fourth down, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was sacked for a 13-yard loss by DeMarcus Ware.

Pittsburgh had two timeouts remaining, but McManus came through again, kicking a 45-yard field goal with 53 seconds to play.

The Steelers quickly moved into Broncos territory and got a 47-yard field goal from Chris Boswell to make it 23-16 with 19 seconds left.

But the Broncos got the onside kick, then Manning took a knee to end the game.

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20161:13 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20161:14 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20161:14 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20161:15 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20161:15 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20161:16 pm
Chuck Hickey January 17, 20161:20 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20161:29 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20161:30 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20161:30 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20161:30 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20161:39 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20161:40 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20161:42 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20161:42 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20161:42 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20161:47 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20161:49 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20161:52 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:00 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:08 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:12 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:15 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:18 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:18 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:20 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:20 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:21 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:22 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:23 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:25 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:26 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:28 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:30 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:31 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:32 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:34 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:34 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:35 pm
Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:38 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:39 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:39 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:41 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:42 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:44 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:44 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:44 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:45 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:46 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:47 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:47 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:49 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:49 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:49 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:50 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:53 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:54 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:55 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:55 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:55 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:55 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:55 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:57 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:57 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20162:58 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:00 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:01 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:01 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:02 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:02 pm
Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:05 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:05 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:05 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:06 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:06 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:06 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:07 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:08 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:08 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:10 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:11 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:11 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:12 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:12 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:15 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:16 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:19 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:19 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:19 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:19 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:19 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:20 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:20 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:22 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:22 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:24 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:25 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:26 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:27 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:27 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:28 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:28 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:29 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:29 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:29 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:30 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:32 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:32 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:32 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:32 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:33 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:33 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:33 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:35 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:36 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:36 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:36 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:37 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:37 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:39 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:39 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:39 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:39 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:40 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:40 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:40 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:40 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:41 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:42 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:42 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:42 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:43 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:44 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:45 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:45 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:46 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:46 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:46 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:47 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:47 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:48 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:48 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:48 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:49 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:49 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:49 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:49 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:50 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:50 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:51 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:51 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:52 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:53 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:53 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:54 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:55 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:55 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:56 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:56 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:58 pm

https://twitter.com/Broncos/status/688857858977349632

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:59 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20163:59 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:01 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:01 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:04 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:04 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:04 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:04 pm
Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:06 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:08 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:08 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:14 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:14 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:21 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:21 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:22 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:22 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:22 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:26 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:26 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:26 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:27 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:28 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:28 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:28 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:29 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:29 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:32 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:32 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:33 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:33 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:34 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:35 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:35 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:36 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:36 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:36 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:36 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:37 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:37 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:37 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:38 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:38 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:38 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:39 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:40 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:40 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:41 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:41 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:41 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:41 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:42 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:42 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:42 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:43 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:44 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:44 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:46 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:46 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:46 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:49 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:53 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:54 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:56 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:58 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:59 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:59 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:59 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20164:59 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:00 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:01 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:02 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:03 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:03 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:04 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:04 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:06 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:07 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:07 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:07 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:08 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:08 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:08 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:08 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:09 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:09 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:09 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:10 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:10 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:11 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:12 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:12 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:12 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:14 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:15 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:17 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:17 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:18 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:18 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:18 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:19 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:19 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:19 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:19 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:20 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:20 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:21 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:23 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:24 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:26 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:31 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:31 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:33 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:36 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:38 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:39 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:40 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:41 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:44 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:44 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:45 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:45 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:46 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:49 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:52 pm
Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:53 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:54 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20165:56 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:00 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:02 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:02 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:03 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:03 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:03 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:05 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:05 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:11 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:11 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:11 pm

https://twitter.com/ESPNStatsInfo/status/688890973154340865

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:11 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:12 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:12 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:12 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:12 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:12 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:13 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:13 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:13 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:13 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:19 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:19 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:19 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:20 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:21 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:21 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:22 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:35 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:38 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:38 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:38 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:38 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:38 pm

Chuck Hickey January 17, 20166:39 pm

AlertMe