- Associated Press - Sunday, January 24, 2016

DENVER — Peyton Manning is again off to the Super Bowl and he has his defense to thank.

Cornerback Bradley Roby saved the game for the Denver Broncos by intercepting Tom Brady on a two-point conversion attempt with 12 seconds left to preserve a 20-18 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday in the AFC championship game.

Denver will face the Carolina Panthers, who beat the Arizona Cardinals, for the title on Feb. 7 in Santa Clara, California.

Roby, who forced the game-changing fumble in last week’s victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, made the interception after cornerback Aqib Talib stepped in front of Brady’s pass and deflected it skyward.

The Broncos recovered the onside kick and the celebration began.

New England had to go for two points after Brady’s four-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski because Stephen Gostkowski missed an extra point in the first quarter, snapping a string of 523 consecutive successful attempts.

Manning, who suffered through the worst season of his career and dealt with a tear in the plantar fascia near the heel of his left foot that cost him seven starts, took a knee to clinch the win.

He threw two touchdown passes, but the 39-year-old quarterback’s best play may have very well been his 12-yard scramble on third down in the third quarter — his longest playoff run since he was a rookie.

Manning is now 6-11 in his vaunted series against Brady, but 3-1 with the AFC title on the line.

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