DENVER -- Peyton Manning welcomed Wes Welker back into the lineup with a touchdown toss and the Denver Broncos narrowly avoided a repeat of their playoff slip from last year, advancing to the AFC Championship Game with a 24 - 17 win over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
The Broncos, 14 - 3, took a 17 - 0 lead into the fourth quarter. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers then capitalized on an injury to cornerback Chris Harris, Junior to stage a comeback reminiscent of Baltimore's shocking win at Denver exactly a year earlier. This time, however, Manning rescued the Broncos from the brink of another crushing collapse and sent them into the title game for the first time in eight seasons. They host Tom Brady and New England Sunday.
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