The Indianapolis Colts are edging the Denver Broncos with a four-point lead at the break in the AFC divisional-round clash at Sports Authority Field.
The Broncos started the game well as Peyton Manning completed a deep pass down the sideline for Julius Thomas to put his team into the red zone. The quarterback then fired the Broncos ahead with a touchdown strike to Demaryius Thomas on a fade route.
Indianapolis hit back with deep plays to TY Hilton as Andrew Luck took his side into the Denver half of the field, and they drew level when he handed the ball off the Daniel Herron for a six-yard touchdown.
Jonathan Newsome came with a huge play for the Colts when he sacked Manning and forced a fumble from the quarterback, allowing his side to gather. Luck put his team back on the goal line and they went ahead when he fired to Dwayne Allen in the endzone.
Chuck Pagano's men spurned the chance to push further into the lead as Adam Vinatieri missed a 44-yard field goal, while Luck threw an interception late in the half to stop his side registering further points in the second quarter.
The Broncos managed to pull within four points when Connor Barth fired a 45-yard field goal through the posts just before the end of the half.
In the second half, Manning failed to get his offense into any sort of rhythm as the Broncos gave the ball straight back to Luck.
The third-year quarterback took full advantage as he fired the ball deep to Coby Fleener. That set up a score for Hakeem Nicks minutes later as Luck threw another dart into the endzone for the receiver to bring down under pressure.
Manning led his team on a methodical drive downfield in an attempt to get their offense going, and it needed a miracle play from CJ Anderson on fourth down and one to get them into field-goal range as the back managed to shed three tackles to get the first down.
However, Denver could only muster three points on the drive as Manning's pass to Emmanuel Sanders on the next third down fell incomplete, forcing Barth to kick a 45-yard field goal.
The Colts put the dagger in on the next drive as they used up time on the clock with their running game and short passes from Luck to give them a two-score lead as Vinatieri fired a 30-yard field goal through the posts.
Manning tried to lead his team on a comeback late in the game, but Anderson couldn't produce any more magic on a short pass as he fell inches short of keeping his offense on the field.
The Colts did enough to kill the clock late in the game to secure their victory and set up a meeting against the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game in Foxborough next week.