NFL

Manning leads Broncos past gritty Steelers 23-16

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is sacked by Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison, left, during the second half in an NFL football divisional playoff game, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is sacked by Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison, left, during the second half in an NFL football divisional playoff game, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Peyton Manning rescued the butter-fingered Broncos with a late touchdown drive and Denver advanced to the AFC championship game with a 23-16 win over Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

The Broncos (13-4) will host Tom Brady and the New England Patriots (13-4) next weekend.

Manning vs. Brady XVII.

With Denver down 13-12 with less than 10 minutes left, cornerback Bradley Roby punched the ball from Fitzgerald Toussaint's arms and teammate DeMarcus Ware recovered at the Denver 35-yard line.

Then, Manning went to work, driving Denver to its only touchdown.

C.J. Anderson ran it in from the 1, and Demaryius Thomas — who was playing in front of his mother for the first time in his life — caught the 2-point conversion for a 20-13 lead with three minutes remaining.

Ware's sack ended Pittsburgh's next drive and Brandon McManus kicked his fifth field goal, tying the NFL playoff record.

Chris Boswell made a 47-yarder with 19 seconds left, but Anderson recovered the onside kick.