The biggest storyline in this game will be a familiar one: Peyton Manning versus Tom Brady. These two greats have quite the history with one another, so this game will be the latest installment in their legendary careers.
Both teams come into this game with a 2-2 record, looking to climb over the .500 mark.
The Pats are coming off a win that saw their offense explode for the first time this season after putting up 52 points against the Buffalo Bills. Meanwhile, the Broncos flat-out dominated the Oakland Raiders in what was their most complete game of the young season thus far.
New England's defense hasn't been all that great this season, a fact that is proven by its defensive rankings.
Sure, the Pats are ranked No. 8 against the run, but Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens has been the only legit and healthy back New England has faced this season, and he lit them up for 101 yards and a touchdown in Week 3.
Denver has one of the league's best backs in Wills McGahee. The Broncos back has broken the 100-yard mark twice this season and if not for playing a few tough defenses and battling injuries, McGahee could have had even more impressive stats.
Making matters worse for the Patriots, they are ranked No. 25 against the pass this season. Manning has proven that he is fully back after missing last year and can still exploit weak pass defenses much like the Patriots have.
Having to respect both aspects of the Broncos offense, the Pats can't cheat against the run or pass. That's important because the Patriots need all the help they can get in stopping the Broncos through the air and Denver's rushing attack will keep New England honest all game.
Denver's defense is also one of the better ones that New England has faced this season. The Broncos are ranked No. 13 and No. 9 against the pass and run, respectively.
It's going to take a monumental effort for the Pats to move the ball on the ground and if they can't accomplish that, Brady will have to win this game with his arm. Such an approach for the Pats will play right into the hands of the Broncos' talented secondary and defense as a whole.
Normally Brady has the ability to single-handedly win a game, but as a result of injuries, the Hall of Fame quarterback will have a much more difficult time finding open targets than normal.
This matchup couldn't have been a better one for the Broncos and their prospects of improving to 3-2 are looking very good this week.
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