(AP) — Super Bowl 50 is set. The Denver Broncos have reached the title game for the second time in three years, and the eighth time in franchise history. They will take on the Carolina Panthers, who will make their second Super Bowl appearance and first in 12 years
The Broncos captured the AFC championship game as Peyton Manning threw a pair of TD passes to Owen Daniels while in the first half of a 20-18 win over the New England Patriots. Manning completed 17 of his 32 passes for 176 yards and no interceptions.
Brian McManus hit two field goals, a 52-yarder with 33 seconds remaining in the first half and a 31-yard kick that gave Denver a 20-12 lead with about 10 minutes left. C.J. Anderson had 72 yards on 16 carries for the Broncos, who have tied Pittsburgh, Dallas and New England for most Super Bowl appearances.
It was the fifth time Manning and Tom Brady have locked horns in the AFC title game. Manning now has a 3-2 edge in those battles.
The Broncos’ defense hounded Brady all afternoon, recording four sacks and knocking him down 14 times. Denver linebacker Von Miller was one of the stars of the game, recording 2 ½ sacks and one interception.
Brady completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes, hitting on 27 of 56 for 310 yards, one TD and two interceptions.
However, Brady converted a pair of fourth-down plays on the Patriots’ final drive, including a four-yard TD pass to Rob Gronkowski on fourth-and-goal with 12 seconds left. The Patriots would have tied the game with a successful two-point conversion, but Brady’s pass was tipped by Aqib Talib (ah-KEEB tah-LEEB’) and intercepted by Bradley Roby. The Pats had to go for two after Stephen Gostkowski missed an extra-point try following Steven Jackson’s one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
The NFC Championship game was a total blowout as Cam Newton threw for two touchdowns and ran for two others in the Panthers’ 49-15 laugher against Arizona. Newton was 19 of 28 for 335 yards through the air, including an 86-yard scoring pass to Corey Brown in the first quarter. Newton’s five-yard TD toss to Devin Funchess in the fourth quarter iced the victory.
Ted Ginn had a 22-yard TD run and Luke Kuechly (KEEK’-lee) capped the scoring by returning Carson Palmer’s fourth interception 22 yards. Brown and Greg Olsen each finished with 113 yards receiving.
The Panthers held the Cardinals to 287 total yards. Palmer was 23 of 40 for 235 yards, one touchdown and six turnovers, including a pair of fumbles.
The Super Bowl is slated for Feb. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif. The Panthers are the early four-point favorite.
(AP) — In the San Francisco Bay Area, where high housing costs are notorious, residents looking to make a quick buck are offering to rent their homes at super-sized prices to the 1 million visitors expected for Super Bowl 50 festivities.
There’s a luxury 8,500-square-foot home in San Jose, California, listed for $10,000 a night. A four-bedroom apartment near San Francisco’s “Super Bowl City” is listed at $1,495 a night, with a minimum six night stay.
And let’s not forget a treehouse for two in a 150-year-old oak tree a half hour drive from downtown San Francisco. It’s listed at $495 a night.
Whether customers will pay such prices is uncertain, even in an area where hotel rooms are limited for the week-long extravaganza with festivities in San Francisco culminating Feb. 7, when the Denver Broncos square off against the Carolina Panthers.