But just when it appeared as though the New England dynasty, seen by some as a modern day evil empire, was primed for a comeback, the Denver defense, led by Von Miller's harassing pass rush on Brady and his 2 and 1/2 sacks and an interception, pressured the Patriots quarterback mercilessly.
Tom Brady dropped back to pass the ball an excessive amount with 57 attempts, most of which came in the second half as the Patriots offensive tried to make a proverbial dollar out of 15 cents. He weathered four sacks, two interceptions and multiple knockdowns but kept the Patriots close.
But a questionable play call to go for it in the red zone instead of kicking a field goal on 4th and 6 with 2:30 left was easily sniffed out and stopped by the swarming and ravenous Broncos defense. The Patriots defense put in a yeoman's effort throughout, giving their offense one last chance to get some “get right”.
Tom Terrific completed two fourth-down conversions on the final drive, a 40-yard pass and a 4-yard TD pass both to Gronkowski, to pull the score to 20-18. But the ensuing 2-point conversion attempt was tipped and intercepted by Denver.
An onside kick recovery by the Broncos sealed the deal. This will mark the fourth time Manning has gone to the Super Bowl and eighth overall for the Denver franchise.
If Von Miller didn't get the game ball, then one should have been handed out to the entire Broncos defense.
Way to give the old man another shot at a title.