DENVER (AP) —
Peyton Manning rescued the butter-fingered Broncos with a late touchdown drive and Denver advanced to the AFC championship game with a 23-16 win over Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
The Broncos (13-4) will host Tom Brady and the New England Patriots (13-4) next weekend.
Manning vs. Brady XVII.
With Denver down 13-12 with less than 10 minutes left, cornerback Bradley Roby punched the ball from Fitzgerald Toussaint’s arms and teammate DeMarcus Ware recovered at the Denver 35-yard line.
Then, Manning went to work, driving Denver to its only touchdown.
C.J. Anderson ran it in from the 1, and Demaryius Thomas — who was playing in front of his mother for the first time in his life — caught the 2-point conversion for a 20-13 lead with three minutes remaining.
Ware’s sack ended Pittsburgh’s next drive and Brandon McManus kicked his fifth field goal, tying the NFL playoff record.
Chris Boswell made a 47-yarder with 19 seconds left, but Anderson recovered the onside kick.