Tom Brady and the New England Patriots lost the AFC championship game to the Broncos on Sunday in Denver. The final score of the game was 26-16, a disheartening loss for the Patriots after a season filled with turmoil.
The Patriots fought hard to head to the Super Bowl next month, but were ultimately unable to grasp the win. The team managed to hold on until the loss of cornerback Aqib Talib, when his knee was injured early in the second quarter.
Before the season even started, injuries and other incidents cost the Patriots several star players, including starters Rob Gronkowski, Armond Armstead, and Aaron Hernandez. (Gronkowski and Armstead were both injured, while Hernandez was lost to the team after being charged with murder.)
However, 2013 wasn't a complete failure for Brady and coach Bill Belichick, as they somehow managed 13 wins over the course of the season.
Sunday's game was filled with bad luck for the Patriots, as they were forced to play without any of their best defensive team members by the second quarter. (Two of which were unable to play at all.)
Now, Peyton Manning and the Broncos are headed to the Super Bowl, awarding the eldest Manning son the opportunity to take home his second Super Bowl ring.
Despite the loss, the Patriots did manage some decent plays, including a pass completed by Brady for a first down in the fourth quarter. However, two of the main reasons being attributed to the ultimate outcome were regretful coaching choices made by Belichick, as well as a failed attempt at a two-point conversion.
The Patriots were also forced to head into the championship game without five of their starting players: Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, Tommy Kelly, Sebastian Vollmer, and Brandon Spikes.
Besides the substantial efforts made by Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, wide receiver, Julian Edelman, also performed well.
Commenting on the outcome of the game, Brady said, "I think this team is a very resilient, tough, hard-nosed team and I think we just got beat by a team today that played very well."
Belichick made a similar statement concerning Denver's stellar performance, saying, "They were the better team today."
The Broncos will attempt to win the 2014 Super Bowl on February 2.
Main image courtesy @Broncos via Twitter.