NFL Championship Sunday Recap: Panthers & Broncos Win, Will Meet In Super Bowl 50
The Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers each won their respective conference title games to advance to Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7. Here’s a recap of the action from Sunday.
Carolina 49, Arizona 15
Cam Newton passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more, and the Carolina Panthers routed the Arizona Cardinals, 49-15, in the NFC Championship Game in Charlotte on Sunday night. Carolina advanced to play AFC champ Denver in Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, Calif. on Feb. 7
The Panthers jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter on Sunday, and they never allowed Arizona to get back into the game. Carolina’s defense forced seven turnovers, including six by Cardinals’ quarterback Carson Palmer, while completing the rout.
Newton completed 19 of 28 pass attempts for 335 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception.
Palmer finished 23-for-40 for 235 yards, with a touchdown and four picks. He also fumbled twice.
The Panthers will be making their first Super Bowl appearance since 2004, when they lost to the New England Patriots.
The Broncos are making their eighth Super Bowl appearance.
Denver, 20, New England 18
Cornerback Bradley Roby intercepted Tom Brady’s 2-point conversion attempt with 12 seconds to play, and the Broncos held on to beat the New England Patriots, 20-18, in the AFC Championship Game in Denver on Sunday afternoon. The win over the defending Super Bowl champs allowed the Broncos to advance to their second Super Bowl in three years and eighth in franchise history.
Denver never trailed in the game thanks to an inspired performance by quarterback Peyton Manning, who advanced to play in the fourth Super Bowl of his career. Manning completed 17 of 32 passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns, both to tight end Owen Daniels in the first half.
The Broncos defense dominated the game, pressuring Brady all afternoon and sacking him four times. Denver pass rusher Von Miller had 2½ sacks and an interception, one of two Brady threw on the day.
Trailing 20-12 in the fourth quarter, Brady marched New England down the field and came up empty twice inside the Broncos’ 20. He finally connected with Rob Gronkowski on a four-yard touchdown pass with 12 seconds left that set up the failed 2-point try.
The Patriots had to attempt the conversion, because Stephen Gostkowski missed an extra point in the first quarter after Steven Jackson’s 1-yard touchdown run. If Gostkowski had made that kick and one after the final touchdown, the game might have gone to overtime.
Brady finished 27-for-56 for 310 yards, with two interceptions and a touchdown. Gronkowski caught eight passes for 144 yards and a score.
Denver will play Carolina in Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, Calif. on Sunday, Feb. 7.