Broncos, Seahawks Headed To Super Bowl
By The Associated Press
It will be the Seattle Seahawks taking on the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 48 at the Meadowlands.
The Broncos are AFC champions for the first time since the 1998 season. Peyton Manning was on target all afternoon while the Broncos shut down New England's offense in a 26-16 victory at Denver.
Manning was 32 of 43 for 400 yards, two short touchdowns and no interceptions to improve to 2-2 lifetime versus Tom Brady and the Pats in the postseason. Manning's three-yard TD pass to Demaryius Thomas put Denver ahead 20-3 with 7:52 left in the third quarter. The Broncos owned a 20-point lead once Matt Prater hit a 19-yard field goal early in the final period.
The Broncos had to settle for four Prater field goals, but the drives allowed them to control the ball for almost 36 minutes and keep Brady off the field. Brady finished with 277 passing yards, much of it coming after the Patriots fell behind 23-3.
Brady threw a touchdown pass to Julian Edelman in the fourth quarter and ran for a five-yard score with 3:07 to play. But the Broncos all-but clinched the victory by stopping the ensuing two-point conversion attempt before running out the clock.
The Seahawks are NFC champions for just the second time in team history following a 23-17 comeback win over the San Francisco 49ers in Seattle. The Seahawks didn't take their first lead of the game until Russell Wilson threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse with 13:44 remaining. Steven Hauschka doubled Seattle's lead with his third field goal of the game, a 47-yard boot with 3:47 remaining.
The 49ers were driving in the final minute until Colin Kaepernick was intercepted by Malcolm Smith in the end zone, clinching the victory for Seattle.
Marshawn Lynch sparked the Seahawks' comeback with a 40-yard touchdown run on the Seahawks' first possession of the second half. Lynch finished with 109 yards on 22 carries.
Wilson completed 16 of his 25 passes for 215 yards, one TD and no interceptions. Doug Baldwin was Wilson's top receiver, grabbing six passes for 106 yards.
Kaepernick had an outstanding running game, finishing with 130 yards on 11 carries. But Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter combined for just 30 yards on 14 carries, and Kaepernick was just 14 of 24 for 153 yards. Kaepernick also had two big interceptions and a costly fumble.
It's the first trip to the Super Bowl for the Seahawks since they lost to Pittsburgh after the 2005 season.