New England’s dreams of a fifth Lombardi Trophy were dashed Sunday in Denver, and a former Patriot made the play that sealed the team’s fate.
A Rob Gronkowski touchdown catch brought New England within two points of Denver with 12 seconds remaining in the AFC Championship Game, but Aqib Talib came up with a pass breakup on the ensuing two-point conversion to put the finishing touches on a 20-18 Broncos win.
The deflected pass ended up in the arms of cornerback Bradley Roby, and the Patriots were unable to recover a last-gasp onside kick by Stephen Gostkowski, whose missed extra-point attempt loomed large in the loss.
The Broncos now have advanced to the Super Bowl twice in the last three seasons, defeating the Patriots in the AFC title game each time.
Thumbnail photo via Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports Images
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