Patriots vs. Broncos: Live Game Grades and Analysis of Denver

Travis Wakeman@@traviswakeman10Correspondent IIJanuary 19, 2014

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 19:   Danny Trevathan #59 of the Denver Broncos reacts in the second quarter against the New England Patriots during the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos are heading to Super Bowl XLVIII following a 26-16 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday.

The Broncos controlled the game from the outset, getting up by as many as 20 points. The Broncos gained 507 total yards and had 27 first downs in the game.

Denver reaches the Super Bowl for the seventh time in team history, something only New England, Dallas and Pittsburgh has accomplished.

The Broncos now await the winner of the NFC Championship between San Francisco and Seattle.


Final Score

Patriots- 16

Broncos- 26

Denver Broncos Game Grades
Positional Unit1st-Half GradeFinal Grade
Passing OffenseA+A+
Passing DefenseB+B
Rushing OffenseBB+
Rushing DefenseA+A
Special TeamsAA
AFC Championship vs Patriots


Final Analysis for Denver Broncos

Passing Offense: Peyton Manning had an excellent day, throwing for 400 yards and compiling a 118.4 rating. Demaryius Thomas had a big day following the departure of Aqib Talib, catching seven passes for 134 yards and a touchdown.

Passing Defense: The Broncos' secondary had a good game, coming up with five passes defensed. Terrance Knighton came up with a critical sack of Tom Brady on a 4th-and-2 play in the fourth quarter.

Rushing Offense: The Broncos ran for over 100 yards as a team. Knowshon Moreno picked up 59 yards before leaving the game with a chest injury.

Rushing Defense: Denver did an incredible job against the run, limiting the Patriots to just 64 yards on 16 carries.

Special Teams: Matt Prater kicked four field goals on the day, one of which came from 54 yards that he made with ease.

Coaching: Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio called an excellent game as his defense pitched a near shutout through three quarters. Offensively, Adam Gase called a pass play on 2nd-and-7 in the late stages of the fourth quarter which went to Jacob Tamme for a big gain and essentially put things out of reach.

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 19:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos celebrates after they defeated the New England Patriots 26 to 16 during the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images



First-Half Analysis for Denver Broncos

Passing Offense: Peyton Manning has come out very strong in this game, throwing for 214 yards and a touchdown in the first half. The Patriots lost cornerback Aqib Talib to a knee injury and Manning took advantage, easily moving the ball downfield on Denver's final possession of the first half.

Passing Defense: Tom Brady completed just nine passes in the first half. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Tony Carter each made big pass break-ups. Robert Ayers also came up with a big sack.

Rushing Offense: Knowshon Moreno ran for 40 yards in the first half, most of which came on a 28-yard burst in the second quarter.

Rushing Defense: New England was able to run the ball all over Indianapolis in the divisional round, but that hasn't been the case today. Denver has held the Patriots to just 16 yards on eight carries.

Special Teams: Matt Prater kicked two field goals in the first half, one from 27 yards and another from 35. He has pounded each of his kickoffs deep into the end zone to prevent returns.

Coaching: Denver won the opening coin toss and deferred, electing to receive the second-half kickoff. With a 10-point lead at the break, that could be critical. The Broncos' secondary should continue to be aggressive with the New England receivers.