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Manning to Super Bowl, Broncos beat Pats 26-16

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Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) passes during the second half of the AFC Championship NFL playoff football game against the New England Patriots in Denver.

DENVER » Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos are heading to the Super Bowl after a 26-16 victory over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

Manning threw for 400 yards and two touchdowns Sunday to lead Denver to its first trip to the NFL title game in 15 years.

The Broncos (15-3) will play San Francisco or Seattle on Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

It marks the next big step for Manning on a comeback from multiple neck surgeries that almost ended his career.

He led the Broncos on a pair of 7-plus-minute touchdown drives, the second of which gave Denver a 20-3 lead.

Manning improved to 5-10 lifetime against Brady but is now 2-1 in the AFC title games.

The Patriots (13-5) got only 64 yards rushing and most of Brady’s 277 yards came after New England had fallen behind by 20.

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