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Darian Stewart, Derek Wolfe banged up for Broncos

in the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. Getty Images

The Broncos defense has lost one of its starters as they try to make their lead stand up against the Patriots in the third quarter.

Safety Darian Stewart left the game with a knee injury and is being called questionable to return by the Broncos. Stewart’s absence didn’t stop the Broncos from forcing Ryan Allen’s fifth punt of the game a couple of plays later, although the Broncos punted the ball right back three plays later.

Those dueling three and outs illustrate just how much this has been a battle of the defenses in Denver on Sunday afternoon. The only score of the second half came on a Stephen Gostkowski field goal set up by a 31-yard gain by Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski left the game for the rest of the drive, but has since returned after hydrating on the sideline.

He hasn’t helped the offense find its footing, though. Von Miller has had a lot to do with keeping them off track with a pair of sacks in the third quarter, including one on a third down a couple of plays after the Broncos saw defensive end Derek Wolfe head to the bench for medical attention as well. Miller now has 2.5 sacks and an interception on the day and the Broncos lead 17-12 with 15 minutes left to play.

UPDATE 5:53 p.m. ET: Wolfe returned to the game in the fourth quarter with the Broncos leading 20-12.

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11 Responses to “Darian Stewart, Derek Wolfe banged up for Broncos”
  1. azjahawkr says: Jan 24, 2016 5:48 PM

    Cardinals are going to kill the winner of this game. Both are slugs

  2. duffelbagsports says: Jan 24, 2016 5:56 PM

    Tell the Cardinals to enjoy the Pro Bowl

  3. jimbo75025 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:07 PM

    4 minutes and change and the Pats are going to go to 4 down territory the rest of the game.

    I hope Denver wins but I am nervous. Their D has been on the field a long time this game.

  4. skawh says: Jan 24, 2016 6:08 PM

    Gronk is banged up too!

  5. doctorrustbelt says: Jan 24, 2016 6:35 PM

    Vontaze Burfict DESTROYED the pittsburgh steelers.

  6. chriskap11 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:37 PM

    Patriots are gone, next year Brady will be playing like Peyton and be done.

  7. cherrybop says: Jan 24, 2016 6:37 PM

    And the Patriots lost. I can sleep well tonight.

  8. doctorrustbelt says: Jan 24, 2016 6:38 PM

    Arizona is gonna DESTROY Denver.

  9. dccrescenzi says: Jan 24, 2016 6:38 PM

    Congrats to Denver
    The Denver D was more than advertised
    Might have been different in foxborough but with what I saw today I don’t think the Pats had a way to counter the The Denver D
    I will take this season and file it away as just one more time the better d one.

  10. doctorrustbelt says: Jan 24, 2016 6:41 PM

    tom brady just doesn’t excel without deflated balls.

  11. chriskap11 says: Jan 24, 2016 6:45 PM

    Really glad to see Peyton did enough to manage game and not hurt team. Brady couldn’t escape the defensive pressure

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