DENVER -- In what could be Peyton Manning's final game in Denver, both he and his teammates played the first half of Sunday's AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots as if they all have designs on making a Super Bowl trip if they can close the deal.
Manning was 10-of-20 passing for 128 yards and two touchdowns, as the Broncos held a 17-9 lead at halftime.
Manning, who had been held out of seven starts this season with a left foot injury, showed he felt just fine physically in the opening two quarters. The Broncos scored on their opening possession of the game -- an 11-play, 82-yard touchdown drive -- when Manning tossed a 21-yard touchdown pass to Owen Daniels.
Manning, who said he has “tried to just stay in the moment’’ and will not make any decisions about the 2016 season until the current season is over, later threw a second touchdown pass to Daniels -- a 12-yarder early in the second quarter.
Manning showed good movement as he lined up under center at times and in the shotgun; the Broncos even put him in the pistol for a snap.
The Broncos' defense, which was No. 1 overall, No. 1 in sacks and No. 1 in pass defense in the regular season, also showed its substantial teeth with two sacks on Tom Brady and several additional hits on the Patriots quarterback.
Linebacker Von Miller and safety Darian Stewart each had an interception in the first half.
At halftime, Brady was 9-of-20 for 87 yards and the two interceptions.