Colts QB Andrew Luck finally defeated his predecessor, beating Peyton Manning in Denver for the first time.
READ MORE:Rex Ryan hired by Buffalo – Former Jets head coach hired by Buffalo Bills Dick LeBeau resignation – Steelers organization surprised by DC’s resignation Greg Roman going to Buffalo – 49ers offensive coordinator to take same position with Bills
The Indianapolis Colts, thanks to a pair of TDs by QB Andrew Luck, defeated the Denver Broncos 24-13 to advance to the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots.
The Broncos opened up the game hot, scoring a TD in just five minutes thanks to a deep pass from QB Peyton Manning to Julius Thomas for a 32-yard gain to set up a TD pass to Demaryius Thomas. That would prove to be the longest pass of the day for Manning however – he would be held without a TD for the remainder of the game. In the second quarter the Colts offense came to life with two TDs, first from RB Daniel Herron and later on a pass from QB Andrew Luck to Dwayne Allen. The Broncos were able to add a FG with 0:02 remaining after a Luck turnover to make the game 14-10 going into halftime.
In the second half the Colts extended their lead on a TD pass from Andrew Luck to WR Hakeem Nicks to extend their lead to 21-10. Meanwhile the Broncos were held scoreless in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter the Broncos cut the Colts lead on a 41-yard FG by PK Connor Barth, but were unable to move the ball for the rest of the quarter. A key drive ended on a failed fourth down conversion and led to a 30-yard FG by Colts PK Adam Vinatieri with 4:06 remaining, making the Colts lead insurmountable.
With the win the Colts advanced to the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots, their first trip since the 2009 season and first time on the road since the 2003 season.
With the loss the career of Broncos QB Peyton Manning plunges into uncertainty. He is now 2-3 in the playoffs with the Broncos and has been one-and-done twice in his three years with the team.