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Live Blog: AFC Championship- Patriots vs. Broncos

The 13-4 New England Patriots travel to Denver to take on the 13-4 Broncos for the AFC Championship. The Patriots are looking to advance to their ninth Super Bowl, which would be the most of any team in league history. Stay with us as we provide live updates from what should be a great game.

2:35- We are 30 minutes from kickoff, so it's that time to take a look at the inactives for today's game:

Patriots: G Tre Jackson, T LaAdrian Waddle, DL Ishmaa'ily Kitchen, LB Jonathan Bostic, S Tavon Wilson, WR Chris Harper, DL Geneo Grissom

Broncos- QB Trevor Siemian, DB Lorenzo Doss, DB Taurean Nixon, RB Juwan Thompson, OL Sam Brenner, OL Robert Myers, DL Daruis Kilgo

3:06- The Patriots offense comes on the field first and we are rolling here in Denver.

3:09- One initial first down and that'll do it for the first drive for the Patriots. Brady looked ok and he had time but couldn't make anything happen. Manning and the Broncos offense will take over at the Broncos 17.

3:20- Touchdown, Broncos. Peyton Manning puts on a clinic and the Patriots defense looks awful as the Broncos drive 83 yards for the score. Denver hasn't done that all year, an ominous sign for the Patriots. One positive- the run defense looked excellent. They need to answer with some type of score. Broncos 7, Patriots 0

3:28- New England picked up seven yards on first down, but that was it as they had incompletions on second and third down and were forced to punt again. The Patriots look a little flat out there and affected by the crowd. They need a stop on the next Denver possession. Broncos 7, Patriots 0

3:33- There is the stop the Patriots needed and it is capped with an excellent punt return by Danny Amendola, setting New England up at their own 40. Let's see if Brady and Co. can get into rhythm. Broncos 7, Patriots 0

3:37- Bryan Stork loses his composure, gets flagged for a 15 yard penalty, and the momentum the Patriots gained from the strong return was completely negated. That is just stupid football and I'm sure he'll hear all about it on the sideline.

3:41- The booth reviewed a pass that looked backwards, and the Patriots won the challenge. New England takes over at the Denver 22. Broncos 7, Patriots 0

3:47- Touchdown, Patriots!! Steven Jackson takes it in from a yard out to give the Patriots six points. That's right, six; Gostkowski missed his second extra point ever in his career. Broncos 7, Patriots 6

3:51- That's the end of the first quarter with the Broncos holding a one-point lead and the momentum. After a missed extra point and hitting a big play to Emmanuel Sanders on third down, the Broncos are feeling good again. Broncos 7, Patriots 6

3:54- After the big play to Sanders, the Patriots defense steps up and forces a punt; New England takes over at their own 14. Broncos 7, Patriots 6

3:56- Interception, Broncos. Von Miller picks off a terrible throw by Brady, something he does at least once per playoff game over the last five years. Denver's offense takes over at the Patriots 16. Broncos 7, Patriots 6

3:59- Touchdown, Broncos. Peyton Manning scorches Jamie Collins and the Broncos go ahead by eight. Manning looks the best he's looked in over a year and the Patriots are in serious trouble today, especially if their offense doesn't get it going. Broncos 14, Patriots 6

4:14- Field goal, Patriots. New England had a good drive, but the offensive line couldn't hold up on third and three and Brady was sacked, forcing the field goal attempt. The score itself is big because if the defense can get a stop, New England will have a chance to retake the lead before halftime. Broncos 14, Patriots 9

4:19- Huge three-and-out for the Patriots defense, and now New England gets it back with 5:22 to go in the quarter. The Patriots offense will take over at their own 40. Broncos 14, Patriots 9

4:26- Interception, Broncos. Tom Brady took a huge shot on the play and may be hurt. The Patriots are in trouble today, they just can't get anything going consistently on offense. The defense needs to step up and limit Denver to a maximum of a field goal before the half. Broncos 14, Patriots 9

4:31- New England's defense is bailing out the offense again, forcing another three-and-out and getting the ball back to the offense with 2:27 to go in the first half. The Patriots will start at the Broncos 11 yard line. Broncos 14, Patriots 9

4:38- All of a sudden the Patriots are conservative and don't attempt to get any drive going before the half; I just don't understand what the Patriots are doing. They run on first down when typically they'd just put Brady and the gun and go. Don't get scared guys, you can't win playing conservative. Broncos take over at the Patriots 45. Broncos 14, Patriots 9

4:42- Field goal, Broncos. Denver takes advantage of the Patriots lack of aggression and picks up three more points before the half. The Patriots defense has kept them in the game and they'll need to step up and stop the Broncos on the first drive of the second half. Broncos 17, Patriots 9

HALFTIME

5:02- Huge three-and-out for the Patriots defense, as they come up with a series-killing sack on second down thst forced Denver into a 3rd and 23. New England's offense takes over at their own 33. Broncos 17, Patriots 9

5:09- Field goal, Patriots! Granted, a touchdown is always better, but in close games you need scoring drives, be it field goals or touch downs. This is a five point game again and the Patriots defense looks ready to go. Broncos 17, Patriots 12

5:19- The Patriots defense forces the Denver offense off the field again, this time with an impressive stop on third and one. Patriots almost blew that with an offsides on the punt, but it wasn't called. Broncos 17, Patriots 12

5:24- Brady can't get the Patriots offense going and Ryan Allen is forced to punt. Denver takes over at their own 43. The Patriots have their full cast, but they have been ineffective all day. Broncos 17, Patriots 12

5:27- Three-and-out, and I think Peyton Manning might have deja-vu after Jamie Collins sacked him for a 12-yard loss on second down. Colquitt had an excellent punt to pin the Patriots down at their own four. Broncos 17, Patriots 12

5:35- Von Miller, who has been the best player on the field today, sacks Brady again and the Broncos defense does their job again, forcing Tom Brady and Patriots offense off the field. This is the worst they've looked in a long time when they have everyone playing. Broncos 17, Patriots 12

5:44- Field goal, Broncos. The Patriots at least kept them out of the end zone, but the missed extra point by Gostkowski looms large now as they'll be forced to go for two if they can score a touchdown. New England hasn't done much on offense today, so putting together a touchdown drive is going to be a tall order for Brady and Co. Broncos 20, Patriots 12

6:00- The Patriots foolishly go for it on fourth and one instead of taking the points and now the Broncos take over. That was just foolish; your defense has been great, trust that they'll stop them and get the ball back. Broncos 20, Patriots 12

6:05- The Patriots defense gets another huge stop and the offense gets at least one more shot to tie this game up. Can Brady put a drive together? He's struggled today but he can get hot at any time. Let's see if he has another comeback drive in him. Broncos 20, Patriots 12

6:17- New England can't convert on fourth and six and the Broncos take over at their own 14. Gronkowski complained he was interfered with, but it was clean. Thr Patriots defense will have another chance to stop Denver because they have three timeouts left. Denver 20, New England 12

6:20- The Patriots defense has done everything they needed to do for the team to win the game, and now it is on the offense to finally step up and make some plays. The Patriots will start the drive at the Denver 49. They need a touchdown and a two-point conversion. Here we go. Denver 20, New England 12

6:32- Touchdown, Patriots. Great play, but they couldn't convert the two point conversion or the onside kick, and the Broncos will win the AFC Championship. Tough day for the Patriots offense as they couldn't get anything going consistently, and the missed extra point by Stephen Gostkowski will go down in history because it is a case of dying by their own sword; the Patriots wanted to change the rule, they pulled it off, and it cost them an AFC Title. What an awful way to end a season that looked so promising before the onslaught of injuries. Also, don't be fooled- playing this game in Denver made a huige difference, and you can't help but wonder why the Patriots did the things they did against the Eagles and Dolphins, two losses that never should have occurred. The Patriots finish 2015 with a 13-5 record and a lot of question marks about the in-game decision making going down the stretch.

FINAL SCORE: BRONCOS 20, PATRIOTS 18


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