Manning, Broncos beat Chargers 24-17

Broncos vs. Chargers

Credit: Getty Images

Wes Welker of the Denver Broncos completes a second quarter touchdown pass against the San Diego Chargers during the AFC divisional playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver on January 12, 2014. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

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by ARNIE STAPLETON

Associated Press

Posted on January 12, 2014 at 8:05 PM

DENVER (AP) — 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) controlled the game for 3½ quarters before Philip Rivers capitalized on an injury to cornerback Chris Harris Jr. 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'll host the New England Patriots (13-4) on Sunday. Get ready for Brady vs. Manning once more.

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