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NFL Today, Conference Championships

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SCOREBOARD

Sunday, Feb. 7

Denver vs. Carolina, 6:30 p.m. EST. 's Broncos will face 's Panthers in the 50th Super Bowl — which many expect to be the final game of Manning's career. Denver (14-4) edged the New England Patriots 20-18 for the AFC title Sunday, before Carolina (17-1) ran away with a 49-15 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC.


STARS

Passing

, Panthers, threw for two touchdowns and ran for two others, and finished with 335 yards passing and 47 rushing in Carolina's 49-15 romp over the Arizona Cardinals for the NFC championship.

, Broncos, threw for 176 yards and two touchdowns on 17-of-32 passing in Denver's 20-18 victory over and the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game.


Rushing

, Panthers, rushed for 83 yards on 19 attempts, helping Carolina past Arizona 49-15.

, Broncos, ran for 72 yards on 16 carries to help Denver advance to the Super Bowl with a 20-18 win over New England.


Receiving

, Broncos, caught two touchdown passes from in Denver's 20-18 victory over New England.

— Philly Brown, Panthers, had four receptions for 113 yards and a score — an 86-yard TD — in Carolina's 49-15 win over Arizona.

, Patriots, had eight catches for 144 yards and a TD in a losing cause as New England fell to Denver 20-18.


Special Teams

— Shiloh Keo, Broncos, recovered 's onside kick in the closing seconds to seal Denver's 20-18 win over New England.

, Panthers, had a 32-yard punt return to set up Carolina's first touchdown — a 22-yard run by Ginn — in a 49-15 win against Arizona.


Defense

, Broncos, had a franchise playoff-record 2 1/2 sacks and an interception in Denver's 20-18 victory over New England in the AFC championship game.

, Panthers, had two of Carolina's four interceptions of in a 49-15 rout of Arizona.

and , Broncos. With New England needing a 2-point conversion to tie late in the game, Talib stepped in front of 's pass and deflected it and Roby intercepted it.

, Panthers, returned an interception 22 yards for a touchdown in Carolina's 49-15 win against Arizona.


STREAKS & STATS

New England's pushed an extra point to the right in the first quarter of the Patriots' 20-18 loss at Denver — his first miss in 524 tries. ... led New England in rushing with 13 yards on three runs. ... Denver improved to 11-3 this season in games decided by seven points or fewer, a record for victories in that situation. ... Carolina set the record for most points for a winner in the NFC title game in a 49-15 romp of Arizona. The 49 points were the most this season for the Panthers. The previous time a team scored as many as 49 in a conference title game was 1990, when Buffalo beat the Los Angeles Raiders 51-3 in the AFC. ... Carolina won its 13th straight home game, including three in the playoffs.


MILESTONES

Denver tied Dallas, New England and Pittsburgh for the most Super Bowl appearances in NFL history with eight. Meanwhile, it is the second trip to the big game for Carolina, which lost to New England 12 years ago. ... The Broncos have gone to the Super Bowl seven times under owner , tying New England's for the most in NFL history. ... Denver's became the fourth player with 40 or more touchdown passes in NFL playoff history, joining , and Brett Favre. At 39, Manning surpassed as the oldest quarterback to take his team to the Super Bowl. ... Denver's became the seventh coach to reach the Super Bowl in his first year as coach of a team. ... New England's (31) surpassed Adam Vinatieri (30) for the most games played in NFL playoff history.


BRADY VS. MANNING

improved to 6-11 in his vaunted series against , but 3-1 with the AFC title on the line, including Denver's 20-18 win over New England on Sunday. Manning finished 17 of 32 for 176 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Broncos harassed Brady into a 27-for-56 day for 310 yards and two picks.


THIEVES AVE.

Carolina's big-play defense stifled Arizona's top-ranked offense in a 49-15 win in the NFC championship game. The Panthers picked off four times, forced two fumbles by him, and never let up. Capping the barrage was , who returned an interception 22 yards for a score. At one point, the Cardinals had turnovers on three consecutive plays: a fumbled punt, Palmer's fumble, and 's first of two picks. "We're Thieves Avenue," Coleman said.


SIDELINED

Carolina Panthers All-Pro linebacker broke his right forearm against Arizona. "I will do whatever it takes (to play)," he said of the Super Bowl. Davis hurt his arm with 7:28 left in the second quarter when he hit with his right shoulder as Fells jumped into him after a catch. ... Panthers safety injured an eye in the first half and didn't return. ... Arizona lost reserve defensive tackle in the first half to a right calf injury.


SPEAKING

"I just feel terrible. All day, these guys put their bodies and lives on the line, and for me to come out here and miss a kick, it's a nightmare scenario. I can't even explain how I feel right now. It's just a complete shock and I let a lot of people down." — New England kicker , whose first missed extra point in 524 tries played a huge role in the Patriots' 20-18 loss to Denver in the AFC championship game.


"We've been dreaming about this moment since Day 1. Our pen has a lot more ink left." — Carolina's after the Panthers advanced to the Super Bowl with a 49-15 win over Arizona.


AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

PHOTO: Carolina Panthers' Luke Kuechly is congratulated after intercepting a pass and running it back for a touchdown during the second half the NFL football NFC Championship game against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Carolina Panthers' Luke Kuechly is congratulated after intercepting a pass and running it back for a touchdown during the second half the NFL football NFC Championship game against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

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Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton celebrates a touchdown pass during the second half the NFL football NFC Championship game against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
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