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Emmanuel Sanders

Denver's defense carries Manning back to the Super Bowl

Peyton Manning is glad he doesn't have to face Denver's dizzying defense. Tom Brady wasn't so lucky.

The Broncos bashed Brady throughout a 20-18 dethroning of the New England Patriots in the AFC championship Sunday that sent Denver to a record-tying eighth Super Bowl.

Von Miller's monster performance led the way for a dominant defense that hit Brady 23 times and forced him into 29 incompletions, two fourth-down flops and two costly interceptions, one of them on a failed 2-point try that would have tied it with 12 seconds left.

"Von played phenomenal today," safety T.J. Ward said. "I have never seen a performance like that from one player."