The Broncos and Patriots met twice annually during the American Football League (AFL) years from 1960–69, and played in the first-ever AFL game on September 9, 1960. Since 1995, the two teams have met frequently during the regular season, including nine consecutive seasons from 1995–2003. As of the end of the 2015 season, the two teams have met in the playoffs five times, with the Broncos owning a 4–1 record. The teams' first playoff match on January 4, 1987 was John Elway's first career playoff win, while the teams' second playoff match on January 14, 2006 game was the Broncos' first playoff win since Elway's retirement after the 1998 season. The game was also notable for Champ Bailey's 100-yard interception that resulted in a touchdown-saving tackle by Benjamin Watson at the 1-yard line. On October 11, 2009, the two teams met with former Patriots' offensive coordinator, Josh McDaniels as the Broncos' head coach. Both teams wore their AFL 50th anniversary jerseys. The game featured a 98-yard drive in the fourth quarter, with a game-tying touchdown pass from Kyle Orton to Brandon Marshall, followed by an overtime drive led by Orton that resulted in a 41-yard game-winning field goal by Matt Prater. The two teams met in the Divisional round of the 2011 playoffs, with the Patriots blowing out Tim Tebow and the Broncos by a score of 45–10. The Broncos' rivalry with the Patriots later intensified when longtime Indianapolis Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning became the Broncos' starting quarterback from 2012–15. Manning and Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady maintained a legendary rivalry from 2001 until Manning's retirement after the 2015 season. Though Brady dominated Manning in regular season play, winning nine of twelve meetings, Manning won three of five playoff meetings and 3 of 4 AFC Championship games, the last of which was a Broncos' 20–18 win in the 2015 AFC Championship.
The 2014 NFL season was the 95th season in the history of the National Football League (NFL). The season began on Thursday, September 4, 2014, with the annual kickoff game featuring the defending Super Bowl XLVIII champion Seattle Seahawks hosting the Green Bay Packers, which resulted with the Seahawks winning, 36-16. The season concluded with Super Bowl XLIX, the league's championship game, on Sunday, February 1, 2015, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, with the New England Patriots defeating the Seattle Seahawks, 28–24.
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