THE LATEST: Broncos pressure Brady, up 14-9 nearing half

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) is congratulated by Ronnie Hillman after throwing a 21-yard touchdown pass to Denver Broncos tight end Owen Daniels during the first half the NFL football AFC Championship game between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

The Latest from the NFL conference championship games Sunday. (All times EST)

4:40 p.m.

This is an unusual sight: Tom Brady bloodied and picking himself up off the turf. The top-ranked defense of the Denver Broncos is applying plenty of pressure in the AFC championship game.

So far, Brady has thrown two interceptions - something he hasn't done since Dec. 6 - and been sacked twice. He's also taken several other big hits.

Brady, who has a scrape just below his elbow, has been off target all afternoon. He's 9 for 20 for 87 yards.

- Pat Graham reporting from Denver.

4:18 p.m.


Stephen Gostkowski bounced back from a rare missed extra point to hit a 46-yard field goal as New England pulled within 14-9 in the AFC championship game.

Gostkowski's kick midway through the second quarter was made possible thanks to Tom Brady's 11-yard scramble on third down earlier in the drive.

Gostkowski had made an NFL-record 523 consecutive PATs. And he had made all 60 of his kicks in the playoffs.

- Pat Graham reporting from Denver.


4:05 p.m.


There's no question who Peyton Manning's favorite target is Sunday - Owen Daniels, who caught his second touchdown pass to give the Broncos a 14-6 lead in the AFC championship game.

Manning floated a 12-yard pass to Daniels in the corner of the end zone early in the second quarter. Daniels caught a 21-yard TD pass in the first quarter.

The possession was set up by linebacker Von Miller's interception of Tom Brady. Known as a fierce pass rusher, Miller fooled Brady by dropping into coverage.

Manning came into the game with only one TD pass at home. He now has three.

- Pat Graham reporting from Denver.


3:50 p.m.


Steven Jackson scored from a yard out, but reliable kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed the extra point and the Broncos held a 7-6 in the AFC championship game after the first quarter. Jackson scored with 1:49 left in the period.

Gostkowski didn't miss an extra point all season. His PAT attempt was wide right.

New England got the ball in great field position after winning a challenge. On the play in question, Peyton Manning threw a swing pass to Ronnie Hillman that was ruled incomplete, with linebacker Jonathan Freeny picking up the bouncing football.

But the Patriots challenged and the call was overturned, giving them the ball on the Denver 22.

- Pat Graham reporting from Denver.


3:40 p.m.

Turns out, New England does have a punter and his name is Ryan Allen. The Patriots have punted on three straight possessions in the AFC championship game.

Up to then, Tom Brady and the offense have picked up just one first down. Brady has been sacked once and knocked down another time.

Allen is averaging 49 yards on three punts.


3:25 p.m.


It wasn't in the forecast for tight end Owen Daniels to score before Rob Gronkowski in the AFC championship game. But there was Daniels, a part-time meteorologist, wide open for a 21-yard TD catch to give the Broncos a 7-0 lead over the Patriots midway through the first quarter.

Peyton Manning took advantage of a blown assignment by the Patriots to find Daniels, who waltzed into the end zone.

Manning had a nifty move earlier in the drive, when he escaped outside on a bootleg play. He looked more like a 29-year-old than a 39-year-old who's been dealing with foot injuries.

It was just Manning's second TD pass at home this season. Both have been to Daniels.

- Pat Graham reporting from Denver.


3:07 p.m.

Even before the AFC championship game started, Patriots coach Bill Belichick made a statement by taking the ball first.

The Patriots won the coin flip and wanted to receive. Typically, teams defer to the second half.

The game is underway in Denver, with the opening kick a touchback. The referee is Ed Hochuli.


2:42 p.m.

To make sure his hands stay nice and toasty on this sunny, 46-degree day, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is wearing gloves for the AFC title game against New England.

Fellow QB Tom Brady is opting to go with a glove only on his left hand.

The temperature is expected to be in the mid- to upper-40s most of the afternoon. There's a chance of rain later in the evening, but the game should be over by then and one of these teams will be on their way to the Super Bowl.

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