January 13, 2013

Good news for Pats: Broncos ousted

The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

Ray Lewis, Peyton Manning
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Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens, left, shakes hands with Denever quarterback Peyton Manning following Baltimore’s 38-35 victory Saturday in double overtime.

The Associated Press

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This was the unthinkable for the Broncos (13-4), who came in on an 11-game win streak and the odds-on favorite at 3-1 to win the Super Bowl, in Manning's hometown of New Orleans.

Instead this loss goes down with the most devastating in Denver history. Right there with the 30-27 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Jan. 4, 1997, another year when Denver looked like Super Bowl material.

But it's Baltimore and Lewis who are in the AFC title game for the second straight year.

Last year, Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal against New England that would have tied that game at the end of regulation.

This year the Ravens had Tucker, and though the temperature was cold and the ball was hard, Coach John Harbaugh showed zero desire to get the ball closer after Ray Rice ran for 11 yards to the Denver 34 near the end of the first overtime.

Tucker finished the day 1 of 1. Broncos kicker Matt Prater missed his only try, from 52 yards, at the end of the first half. Broncos Coach John Fox will be second-guessed about the decision to go for the long kick, especially considering the way Flacco responded: throwing and completing three straight passes after the miss for a 58-yard touchdown drive that tied the game at 21 at halftime.

The touchdown was a 32-yard connection to Torrey Smith, marking the second time Smith beat Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey.


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