AFC Championship Game: Peyton Manning praises Deanver Broncos team-mates
Peyton Manning paid tribute to his team-mates after the Denver Broncos booked their spot in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Last Updated: 24/01/14 2:11pm
Manning threw for 400 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Broncos to a 26-16 win in the AFC Championship Game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Demaryius Thomas was the star quarterback's main weapon - catching seven passes for 134 yards and a touchdown - but Julius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker also chipped in with numerous receptions.
"With us, we've spread the ball around so well all season, it's hard to know who really to key on," Manning said.
"On any given play one of five guys could get the ball. I think that puts pressure on a defence."
Manning was given plenty of time in the pocket to pick out his many receivers on Sunday as the Denver offensive line did not allow the Patriots to lay a single hit on him.
After the game, Manning was quick to acknowledge the work done by the big men in the trenches.
He said: "I'm extremely proud of (centre) Manny (Ramirez). He's one of our strongest guys on the team, and I'm just proud of the way he's improved all season.
"Chris Clark replacing Ryan Clady - arguably the best left tackle in the game - that is not an easy job to replace, and (I'm) just proud of the way he's improved and seized that opportunity.
"Really it's been a close-knit unit, and those guys played great today and I'm real proud of them."
The Broncos' success ensured Manning got one over on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, the head-to-head play-off record between to great rivals now standing at 2-2.
"He played great," Brady said of Manning. "They played great, I mean they all did as a team. They have a lot of great players. He certainly is one of the greatest players to ever play.
"He had a very good day and the defence played good. We just didn't get enough pressure on that team to stop them. We were playing from behind all day."