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Broncos defense leads way to 17-9 halftime lead

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 24:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots is sacked by  Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos in the second quarter in the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

When the Patriots win the opening coin toss, they usually opt to defer their decision on taking the ball to the second half of the game.

They called the toss correctly on Sunday in Denver, but chose to take the ball instead. Presumably, the hope was to grab a quick lead and put the pressure on the Broncos. It didn’t work, though, and not much else has worked for the Patriots offense through the first two quarters of the AFC championship game.

The Broncos intercepted Tom Brady twice, sacked him twice and held the Patriots to 115 yards with one third down conversion on their way to a 17-9 halftime lead. The pass rush has been effective when Brady has not been sacked as well, with Malik Jackson rocking him with a big hit on what turned out to be Brady’s second turnover of the game. It’s been a great game plan from Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips and the Patriots have some big adjustments to make in the locker room to get things moving the other way.

The defense also forced a quick three-and-out near the two minute warning and a poor Ryan Allen punt set the Broncos up near midfield for a short drive that resulted in a 52-yard Brandon McManus field goal. The Broncos also used a short field after Von Miller picked Brady to score a touchdown and went 83 yards on their opening drive for an Owen Daniels touchdown catch.

Peyton Manning is 10-of-20 for 128 yards while Brady is 9-of-20 for 87 yards halfway through their latest matchup. If the Broncos defense can produce 30 more minutes of those numbers, they’ll be carrying Manning to his fourth Super Bowl appearance.

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91 Responses to “Broncos defense leads way to 17-9 halftime lead”
  1. contender21open says: Jan 24, 2016 4:50 PM

    The Pat*riots best be grateful to the refs. It’s the only thing going for them in this game.

    This is fun to watch. Brady is a mess!

    Signed
    -No dog in this fight

  2. curtj5 says: Jan 24, 2016 4:52 PM

    I thought the Pats were going undefeated this year?

  3. buttfumbles says: Jan 24, 2016 4:54 PM

    Denver rents a mile high penthouse in Tom Brady’s head.

  4. suhmonster90 says: Jan 24, 2016 4:54 PM

    Seems like they came to play on both sides.

  5. fanofpft says: Jan 24, 2016 4:54 PM

    Time for the pats to review the espionage info gathered.

  6. vancouversportsbro says: Jan 24, 2016 4:54 PM

    Malcolm butler mouthing off the place kicker.

    Brady not being able to throw an inflated football with normal psi.

    Holding and roughing being called on the offensive line which is why they’re nothing today.

    Reminds me of the patriots when they can’t cheat.

  7. joetoronto says: Jan 24, 2016 4:54 PM

    The Patriots tablets weren’t working for almost the whole half. Throw in the pro Mules officiating and you have a close game, for now.

    Screens and draws in the 2nd half will open up that Mules defense.

  8. solo681 says: Jan 24, 2016 4:55 PM

    I am watching the NIGHTMARE of a scared Brady and Plain Jane Vanilla Offence that cnnot move the chains.

    Unless the Patriots start putting up a FIGHT, this game is over.

  9. skawh says: Jan 24, 2016 4:55 PM

    Brady getting hit hard in pocket. Only NE TD is on turnover by Denver giving NE possession on Denver 30.

    2 TB interceptions and almost a 3rd!

    Denver D is playing Edelman gronk and Amendola tough. Only 2 passes each and no YAC!

    Defense wins championships! Go Broncos!

  10. profootballsquawk says: Jan 24, 2016 4:55 PM

    Time to deflate the balls at the half

  11. itsfootballfolks says: Jan 24, 2016 4:58 PM

    So far this game is going just about the way I expected. Denver and Mile High own Tom Brady.

  12. hivelocityimpactsplatter says: Jan 24, 2016 4:59 PM

    As predicted, Patriots fans cry about the refs. Please explain to me how that makes you any different then Harbaugh? You guys all talk so tough about no excuses, but all I read are comments crying about the officiating.

    #hypocrites

  13. ravens2xworldchamps says: Jan 24, 2016 4:59 PM

    Knock the patriots out, Denver.

  14. skawh says: Jan 24, 2016 4:59 PM

    Thomas has 2 critical drops again in first half. What’s wrong with him!?

  15. jrossizzle says: Jan 24, 2016 4:59 PM

    Simms makes my ears bleed

  16. bvolke says: Jan 24, 2016 5:00 PM

    Denver is hitting Brady and we all know that man hates getting hit more than any QB in NFL history. Keep it up!!

  17. crownofthehelmet says: Jan 24, 2016 5:00 PM

    Brady looks like a mess trying to throw a regular inflated ball in the postseason.

  18. patsfantransplant says: Jan 24, 2016 5:00 PM

    vancouversportsbro says:
    Jan 24, 2016 4:54 PM

    Malcolm butler mouthing off the place kicker.

    Brady not being able to throw an inflated football with normal psi.

    Holding and roughing being called on the offensive line which is why they’re nothing today.

    Reminds me of the patriots when they can’t cheat.

    ————————————————————–
    Yeah, sure. See you in the 4th quarter when the clock reaches 00:00

  19. folkcrusader says: Jan 24, 2016 5:00 PM

    Pat’s fans can thank the refs for keeping them in the game. Otherwise looks like we are watching a late season Jags game.

  20. pastabelly says: Jan 24, 2016 5:01 PM

    Denver played a great half, but it’s only an eight point game. I’ll give Denver a lot of credit if they can stop Patriots adjustments. So far, they have all of the answers.

  21. duffelbagsports says: Jan 24, 2016 5:02 PM

    Fair weather haters. Let’s hear from you when the game is over

  22. packertruth says: Jan 24, 2016 5:03 PM

    That first interception by Brady was a miserable throw. And that missed PAT will haunt the Pats. Let’s see what Belichek does at the half….Broncos game for the taking.

  23. mmmcusa says: Jan 24, 2016 5:03 PM

    Manning is playing very well Alper, even all the Announcers are saying it so what game are you watching?? You’re so NE and Brady biased it’s really ridiculous.

  24. waldoampere says: Jan 24, 2016 5:04 PM

    Brady’s two leading receivers are the Broncos secondary and the turf.

  25. toddsuperbowles says: Jan 24, 2016 5:05 PM

    joetoronto, if you’re going to post duplicate comments please trash the Bills. Those comments are your most entertaining.

  26. FoozieGrooler says: Jan 24, 2016 5:06 PM

    Brady’s going down.
    First, today, then again in February when the Deflategate hearing gets underway again.

  27. thegenghiskahn88 says: Jan 24, 2016 5:11 PM

    Patriots can’t pass protect or run block… yeah, I’ve seen this story before

  28. hivelocityimpactsplatter says: Jan 24, 2016 5:12 PM

    patsfantransplant says:
    Jan 24, 2016 5:00 PM
    vancouversportsbro says:
    Jan 24, 2016 4:54 PM

    Malcolm butler mouthing off the place kicker.

    Brady not being able to throw an inflated football with normal psi.

    Holding and roughing being called on the offensive line which is why they’re nothing today.

    Reminds me of the patriots when they can’t cheat.

    ————————————————————–
    Yeah, sure. See you in the 4th quarter when the clock reaches 00:00
    ****
    Win or lose? Promise?

  29. toddsuperbowles says: Jan 24, 2016 5:21 PM

    Brady really does struggle at Mile High. Denver’s defense probably is the best in the league but Brady usually finds a way to get it done. I’m not so sure he will today.

  30. contender21open says: Jan 24, 2016 5:22 PM

    I just wanna see the Pat*riots lose!

  31. fanofpft says: Jan 24, 2016 5:31 PM

    I see brady knelt going into the half. Will we see the back up QB like we did in the last part of the end of game Vs Miami?

  32. bemho says: Jan 24, 2016 5:32 PM

    Funny how Denver’s offense has done nothing since the Patriots tablets started working.

  33. senatorblutarsky says: Jan 24, 2016 5:39 PM

    mmmcusa says:
    Jan 24, 2016 5:03 PM

    Manning is playing very well Alper, even all the Announcers are saying it so what game are you watching?? You’re so NE and Brady biased it’s really ridiculous.
    _________________

    manning is a spoiled, petulant, crybaby whiner but he is playing extremely well considering he throws like an old lady. Actually the Denver defense is playing extremely well.

  34. thetooloftools says: Jan 24, 2016 5:45 PM

    Captain America is getting hammered.

  35. skinnylegspeytonmanning says: Jan 24, 2016 5:45 PM

    Why is Gronk dehydrated? It is nearly freezing! How much did he have to drink last night?

  36. helmetcatch says: Jan 24, 2016 5:46 PM

    Manning is playing OK, not great but not bad. Denver D is carrying the game

  37. drewzducks says: Jan 24, 2016 5:47 PM

    Which of these QBs is supposedly retiring at the end of this season.

  38. solo681 says: Jan 24, 2016 5:47 PM

    Denver Defense easily won this game.

    No fight in Brady, Gronk, Edleman, or the OLine.

    Seems like the Patriots front 7 are duing a great job, unfortunately the Pats secondary is not real good.

    Disgusted Patriots fan.

  39. contender21open says: Jan 24, 2016 5:48 PM

    The Pat*riots conceded the first half. Then Manning led the Broncos to a field goal.

    The Broncos deserve to win this game.

  40. nyjfan111 says: Jan 24, 2016 5:48 PM

    I chose the Pats to win. Thank goodness I’m wrong so far!

  41. solo681 says: Jan 24, 2016 5:50 PM

    This game was over from the beginning when Denvers D set the tone and Brady played scared throughout the entire game.

    As a Pats fan = PAINFUL to watch.

  42. coltzfan166 says: Jan 24, 2016 5:54 PM

    Helmet-to-helmet rule needs to go. If you don’t wanna get hit in the head, then don’t play football. But that call completely changed all the momentum. And now NE actually has a chance

  43. jag1959 says: Jan 24, 2016 5:56 PM

    Denver D has been impressive

  44. ksgcapecod says: Jan 24, 2016 6:06 PM

    Denver playing great D, Pats Offensive line can’t protect him. Unless they figure out a way to move the football in the last 4 minutes it’s over. Been a great run.

  45. skawh says: Jan 24, 2016 6:07 PM

    NE is so lucky. Manning missed a TD pass to Norwood by an inch. Lead back to 8.

  46. falcon8275 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:19 PM

    Ready for the Brady crying to begin! Sooo happy!!!

  47. solo681 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:33 PM

    From the beginning of this game there was no CLEAR path to victory by the Patriots coaching staff.

    Horrible coaching as follows:

    1.) Choosing to receive on opening kickoff

    2.) Plain Vanilla offensive scheme

    3.) Brady 100% SCARED

    4.) Failed to make adjustments at half time

    5.) BB deciding to go for it on 4th down instead of kicking a field goal to make it 20 – 15

    6.) BB, again, going for it on 4th down instead of kicking a field goal to make it 20 18

    7.) Had the Pats kicked two field goals fo 20 – 18 they then had enough time to try an onside kick. If recovered they would of won the game with a field goal = MOST Likely SMART DECISION to stay in the game.

  48. jag1959 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:35 PM

    Congrats Broncos that was some serious D out there today!

  49. johnnycantread says: Jan 24, 2016 6:36 PM

    Game over.
    Enjoy the offseason, cheaters.

  50. eldarknight says: Jan 24, 2016 6:37 PM

    HA HA! GO BRONCOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  51. steeltroll says: Jan 24, 2016 6:37 PM

    To be clear, I do not hate Tom Brady or the Pats org or most of the Pats’ fans. But to the Pats fans who troll up every article: suck it.

  52. squawktalkseahawk says: Jan 24, 2016 6:37 PM

    Go get that ring, Broncos!

  53. ampatsisahypocrite says: Jan 24, 2016 6:38 PM

    Attention Patriots fans: the Tom Brady Deflategate Revenge Tour has been canceled.

    Ticket refunds may be picked up at the NFL offices in New York.

    They will be handed out personally to you by Commissioner Goodell.

  54. fanofpft says: Jan 24, 2016 6:38 PM

    Which of these QBs is supposedly retiring at the end of this season.

    There has been so much talk on how Manning is done. During the game the announcers stated that he is all of ONE year older than brady.

  55. ratsfoiledagain says: Jan 24, 2016 6:38 PM

    Manning, for all his faults in the playoffs, he’s 3-1 versus Brady in AFC title games.

    Take it for what it’s worth.

  56. hivelocityimpactsplatter says: Jan 24, 2016 6:39 PM

    Broncos defense just too much for Brady. So much for the karma tour, looks like Goodell can rest easy.

  57. glac1 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:39 PM

    Why didn’t NE didn’t take a field goal with six minutes to go? Horrible coaching decision by New England… Cost them the game.

  58. it's all bs says: Jan 24, 2016 6:39 PM

    8 trips just like my steelers…..good game on both sides of the ball:)

  59. buttfumbles says: Jan 24, 2016 6:40 PM

    Never seen Brady sacked or knocked down so many times before

  60. randomguy9999 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:40 PM

    Pats and their fans get what they deserve, I guess cheating doesn’t always work

  61. thegloriousone says: Jan 24, 2016 6:40 PM

    Good.

  62. alcottclan235 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:40 PM

    To all Bronco fans, great game. The better team won today. Your D was smothering.Congratulations and go give em hell in the Superbowl.

    Signed, a lifelong Patriot fan.

  63. TebowedOutOfThePostSeasonAndNeverToReturn says: Jan 24, 2016 6:41 PM

    Karma.

  64. godenbroncos says: Jan 24, 2016 6:41 PM

    Well played NE, played tough all the way to the end.

    GoDenBroncos

  65. richcranium2112 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:42 PM

    Anyone but Brady!

    Thanks Denver D. Smack the crap out of the whiner. It was all he could do all day to not whine – you could see him wanting to do it!

  66. bonniebengal says: Jan 24, 2016 6:43 PM

    Congrats Broncos.

  67. TebowedOutOfThePostSeasonAndNeverToReturn says: Jan 24, 2016 6:47 PM

    Never seen a QB intentionally ground so many times and never be flagged. At least he didn’t get away with a win. Now he can prepare his appeal to the Sup. Ct. after the NFL gets that crazy ruling tossed.

  68. dynalee10 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:47 PM

    Well Played Denver

  69. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says: Jan 24, 2016 6:48 PM

    Congratulations Denver. Neither D deserved to lose that game but one of them had to and the Broncos defense was stifling. They deserved the win without question they were the better team out there today by just enough. Great defensive battle and really pleased the players not the zebras decided it.

  70. 1historian says: Jan 24, 2016 6:48 PM

    Pats fan here.

    Congratulations to the Broncos. You beat us and you’re going to the Super bowl. Good luck.

  71. smokehouse56 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:48 PM

    Well, so much for Manning being “washed up” as many of his haters kept telling us all year long. Signed, an Eagles fan.

  72. rogergoodellisatwat says: Jan 24, 2016 6:48 PM

    No question about it, Hochuli and his crew were the better team today. Congrats Ed, good game!

  73. lanflfan says: Jan 24, 2016 6:49 PM

    I can’t wait to hear the excuses from Pats fans.

    I’m ready, entertain me…

  74. sueb45 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:50 PM

    Congratulations, Denver. You guys played a heckuva game!

    A Pats fan

  75. swagger52 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:51 PM

    Brady can’t win away playoff games, especially with a regularly inflated ball. And Stephen Goatkowski can’t make field goals outside of Gilette.

  76. 1historian says: Jan 24, 2016 6:51 PM

    I just took a quick glance through some of the other letters.

    Haters never change – they never identify the team they root for, if they root at all – they just want to smack down on my Pats.

    Smack away – I’m going to take a walk.

  77. billsfan1 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:52 PM

    I’m shocked… Brady looked like EJ Manuel today…

  78. sullijo1 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:52 PM

    BRONCOS 8th SUPER BOWL!!!!!!!!

  79. swagger52 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:52 PM

    Brady looks terrible. I guess deflated balls make a difference in the cold weather.

  80. d1l2g3 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:53 PM

    Good job Broncos, you had to overcome the Patriots and the Refs.

  81. billsfan1 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:53 PM

    I didn’t mean that as a slap or anything. I can’t believe how much he struggled today so I’m literally shocked

  82. skawh says: Jan 24, 2016 6:54 PM

    Best AFC championship game I’ve seen in a long time. No Pat’s SB repeat. Hey NE, be happy Seattle gave you one last year!

  83. dejc421 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:55 PM

    Was pulling for the Pats but the Broncos defense earned it. Wade Phillips was the game MVP. Hope for Peyton’s sake they aren’t embarrassed again in the SB.

  84. packertruth says: Jan 24, 2016 6:56 PM

    patsfantransplant says:
    Jan 24, 2016 5:00 PM

    Yeah, sure. See you in the 4th quarter when the clock reaches 00:00
    —————————–
    This guy must be stuck in traffic.

  85. RE LEE says: Jan 24, 2016 6:56 PM

    The Pats deserves to lose. How could they give up field goals is beyond me. They had plenty of time to score more.
    The O line stinks and there is no running game. They need to fix the mess.
    Still they got it close enough. Good for Peyton. I hope he wins another SB this time. It will be awful if they lose again. Congrats Broncos! Take care of Peyton.

  86. paulrevereshorse1775 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:58 PM

    Congrats Broncos and their fans. Both defenses played well, but yours was stifling. Broncos deserve this win.

    I’m still proud of the Patriots….they fought to the end, but it wasn’t enough against Denver’s D.

    By the way…….Officiating was fair and consistent.

    Good luck in the SB Broncos

  87. a1b24312 says: Jan 24, 2016 7:49 PM

    Let’s hear it for “old” coaches – Wade Philips and a great D in Big D!

  88. jag1959 says: Jan 24, 2016 7:49 PM

    What a great defensive game. For all the Manning/Brady buildup they were just along for the ride today, those defenses were both awesome to watch. The turnovers were the difference in that nail biter. If the SB is close to what we saw today then 50 will be one to remember.
    Congrats Broncos!

  89. 74life says: Jan 24, 2016 9:51 PM

    First things first, much respect to those Patriot fans that showed up here and exhibited class and sportsmanship. To all the experts and analyst… Never underestimate the heart of the Bronco Organization. We have battled through just as much adversity and injury as any team in the league. We handle our business with class and dignity. At the end of the day we represent the NFL in the right way. On a less serious note… Defenseless reciever rule has to go! The Intentional Grounding Rule needs work. And finally Heath Evans, what have you EVER done? Don’t be surprised if we win it all! GO BRONCOS WE ARE WITH YOU ALL THE WAY!!!

  90. swagger52 says: Jan 24, 2016 10:23 PM

    Why must we put up with these AFC East teams? Lets just call the AFC North teams playoff as the championship.

  91. swagger52 says: Jan 24, 2016 10:24 PM

    The science is settled…

    Manning > Brady
    Brady needs to deflate balls in cold weather

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