Manning's third touchdown of the day -- a 17-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas -- with just over 7minutes to play capped a 10-play, 88-yard drive that broke a 28-all deadlock. Thomas broke tackles from Lewis and safety Ed Reed on the play.
Flacco drove them down to the Broncos' 31. However, back-to-back drops -- the first by Jacoby Jones on third down and the second by Dennis Pitta on fourth down -- turned the ball over on downs. The Ravens did force the Broncos to punt, but they still had their ball on their own 23 with no timeouts and just over a minute to play.
"I told myself that Joe might throw me the ball so I better haul but off the line," Jones said.
After it was over, Rice declared the Ravens "the team of destiny."
"Just think about it," he said. "You give up two special teams touchdowns and the way Peyton played, odds says we're going to lose, but I think we're the only group of people Â… that believed that we could get it done, and we did it."
Ravens coach John Harbaugh has now been to the AFC championship game in three of his five seasons and while he abhors comparisons, it's hard to imagine a more rewarding trip than this.
"That was one of the best football games you're ever going to see," Harbaugh said. "That football game did the game of football proud. I'm just proud and grateful to have an opportunity to be part of this game. Â… Our guys did not crack."
As a result, the Ravens boarded a plane on Saturday evening for a long trip home, knowing that they still have more football left to play.
"It was amazing. All the crazy stuff that went on -- a punt return, a kick return -- nobody flinched, man," safety Bernard Pollard said. "Everybody stayed the path and that was good for us. We're excited not to be packing our locker room up and going home."