Ranking the Patriots 11 AFC Championship Games since 2001

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 18: Nate Solder
FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 18: Nate Solder /
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DENVER, CO – JANUARY 19: Peyton Manning /

8. 2013 AFC Championship Game – Denver Broncos

Final: Broncos 26, Patriots 16

For me, this is the Patriots AFC Championship Game that hurts the least. The game wasn’t all that close in the end, and the NFC’s Seattle Seahawks likely could have done to New England what they did to Denver in the Super Bowl.

Denver had a 13-3 at the half thanks to a Jacob Tamme touchdown reception and 2 Matt Prater field goals. The Broncos continued to extend that lead with a touchdown to Demaryius Thomas and yet another 3 points from Prater.

New England began their comeback in the 4th quarter, but they were a little too late. Brady threw a touchdown pass to Julian Edelman and ran a score in from 5-yards out, but in between those Prater hit another field goal and Denver held on for a 26-16 win.

7. 2007 AFC Championship Game – San Diego Chargers

Final: Patriots 21, Chargers 12

Chargers QB Phillip Rivers played this game on a torn ACL so props to him, but this was the least exciting AFC title game win for the Patriots. They were undefeated and were the heavy favorite to make it to the Super Bowl.

Surprisingly, the Patriots offense started off very slowly. Running back Laurence Maroney got them on the board in the second quarter to take a 7-3 lead. Jabar Gaffney then hauled in a TB12 touchdown pass for a 14-6 lead. San Diego’s best player of the half, Nate Kaeding, it a third field goal before halftime and it was just 14-9.

Kaeding had the only score of the third quarter, and all of the Chargers points, when he added a 4th field goal. New England pulled away and went up 21-12 with a Wes Welker touchdown early in the final quarter. The defense did enough to hold that lead and they kept the Chargers out of the end zone all day. Ellis Hobbs and Asante Samuel both had interceptions off Rivers in the win.