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updated: 1/12/2014 7:12 PM

Manning, Broncos beat Chargers 24-17

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  • San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, left, and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning greet each other at midfield after the Broncos beat the Chargers 24-17 in an NFL AFC division playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, in Denver.

      San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, left, and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning greet each other at midfield after the Broncos beat the Chargers 24-17 in an NFL AFC division playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, in Denver.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

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) controlled the game for 3 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.

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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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