DENVER (AP) — Peyton Manning is back in the Super Bowl.
With help from the Denver Broncos defense.
Cornerback Bradley Roby saved the game by picking off Tom Brady's pass on a 2-point try with 12 seconds left to preserve a 20-18 victory for the Broncos over the New England Patriots on Sunday in the AFC title game.
Denver (14-4) will face Carolina for the title on Feb. 7.
New England had to go for 2 after Brady's 4-yard touchdown to Rob Gronkowski because Stephen Gostkowski missed an extra point in the first quarter, snapping a string of 523 straight makes.
Manning threw two touchdowns but the 39-year-old QB's best play may have very well been his 12-yard scramble on third down in the third quarter — his longest playoff run since he was a rookie.
PANTHERS 49, CARDINALS 15
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Cam Newton threw for two touchdowns and ran for two others, and Carolina's big-play defense stifled Arizona's top-ranked offense in a romp for the NFC championship.
The NFL's new top man at quarterback — Newton is an All-Pro this season — will lead the Panthers against five-time MVP Peyton Manning and the Broncos in the Super Bowl in two weeks.
It will be the first Super Bowl for Newton and the second trip to the big game for the Panthers (17-1), who lost to New England 12 years ago. Denver, of course, has made a habit of going to Super Bowls, reaching it for a record-tying eighth time.
Carolina's D was destructive. It forced six turnovers by Carson Palmer — special teams got one — as the Cardinals (13-4) allowed their most points this season.
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