DENVER (CBS4) – A lot is certainly at stake when the Broncos face the Patriots in the AFC Championship game on Sunday. It could be Peyton Manning’s last professional football game, it’s the 17th meeting between Manning and Tom Brady. And, of course, the winner goes on to Super Bowl 50.
But here are some smaller-scale statistics and records Broncos fans can have some fun tracking while watching the game.
1. With a win, Manning would tie Brett Favre for the fifth most postseason victories by a starting quarterback. He’d have 13, but there’s basically no chance he’d ever catch Brady, who has won 22 of the 30 playoff games he has started and tops the list. If the Broncos were to go to Super Bowl 50 and win and Manning started that game, he would wind up tying John Elway for postseason victories. Elway won 14 of the 21 playoff games he started — all with the Broncos.
2. Gary Kubiak could become only the second coach to take the Broncos to a Super Bowl in his first season as head coach of the franchise. Red Miller coached the Broncos to a Super Bowl in his first year in 1977. The last time an NFL coach took a team to a Super Bowl in his first year with an organization was when Jim Harbaugh did it for San Francisco in 2011.
3. If tight end Vernon Davis were to score a touchdown on Sunday and Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski fails to reach the endzone, Davis would wind up tying Gronkowski for most touchdown catches by a tight end in playoffs history. All of Davis’s postseason touchdowns came during his time with the 49ers.
4. Demaryius Thomas broke the Broncos franchise record for postseason receptions against the Steelers last weekend, and with a monster game on Sunday he could break another Broncos playoffs record — receiving yards. Rod Smith tallied up 860 receiving yards in the playoffs for the Broncos during his career, and Thomas needs 122 yards or more to pass Smith on that list.
5. Broncos owner Pat Bowlen would tie New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft for most Super Bowl appearances by a pro football owner if the Broncos win on Sunday. If the Patriots win, Kraft would jump further ahead at the top of the owners list with what would be his team’s eighth Super Bowl appearance.