NFL Final Four
The Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers each won on Sunday to advance to the AFC and NFC title games respectively. Here’s a recap of Sunday’s games:
Denver 24, San Diego 17
Peyton Manning passed for 230 yards and two touchdowns, and the Broncos beat the San Diego Chargers, 24-17, in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs in cold and windy Denver on Sunday. The victory allowed the Broncos to advance to the AFC Championship next Sunday when they will host New England.
Manning threw touchdown passes in each of the first and second quarters to stake Denver to a 14-0 halftime lead. The Broncos defense held San Diego to 45 yards of total offense in the first half.
After Denver extended its lead to 17-0 on Matt Prater’s 45-yard field goal in the third quarter, Philip Rivers rallied the Chargers by throwing touchdown passes of 16 and 24 yards to Keenan Allen in the fourth quarter. Those two scores were sandwiched around Knowshon Moreno’s 3-yard TD run for the Broncos.
Nick Novak kicked a 30-yard field goal that brought San Diego within seven with 3:53 to play, but the Chargers defense couldn’t stop the Manning-led offense from running out the clock by driving the ball down the field.
Rivers finished with 217 passing yards and the two touchdowns to Allen, who caught six passes for 142 yards in the game.
San Francisco 23, Carolina 10
Colin Kaepernick threw for one touchdown and ran for another, and the San Francisco 49ers beat the Carolina Panthers, 23-10, in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs in Charlotte on Sunday.
With the victory, San Francisco advanced to next week’s NFC title game against the Seahawks in Seattle. The division rivals split their two meetings in the regular season.
The 49ers took a 13-10 lead on Kaepernick’s 1-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis with just five seconds to play in the first half. They increased their advantage to 20-10 on a 4-yard run by Kaepernick early in the third quarter and tacked on a 34-yard field goal by Phil Dawson in the fourth quarter.
Kaepernick finished with 196 passing yards for San Francisco. Niners’ wide receiver Anquan Boldin caught eight passes for 136 yards, and teammate Frank Gore carried 17 times for 84 yards.
Cam Newton led the Panthers with 267 yards passing, including a touchdown, and he added 54 rushing yards on 10 carries. He also threw two interceptions that halted Carolina drives.