Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
This is the top storyline of this game. All you'll be hearing about during the game from NBC's commentators is the history between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.
The two quarterbacks have faced off a combined 13 times leading into this game. Brady holds a 9-4 career mark versus Manning, including a 2-1 record in the postseason.
The only time these two have met with Manning in a Broncos jersey was last season in Week 5, when the Broncos fell to the Patriots, 31-21, at New England.
It would end up being Denver's last loss in the regular season until the Broncos fell to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7 of this year. Between their losses to the Patriots and Colts, the Broncos ran off a 16-game regular-season winning streak.
Now two of the greatest quarterbacks of this generation will meet again.
Both quarterbacks are in vastly different environments this time around.
Last season when the Broncos lost to the Patriots, Manning and the Broncos were still finding their footing. Leading into their meeting with New England, the Broncos had lost in mistake-filled games versus the Atlanta Falcons and the Houston Texans.
When the Broncos matched up with the Patriots in Week 5, they were simply overmatched—the Patriots led the game 31-7 at one point during the second half.
Fast forward to the present day, and Manning is leading a squad that may go down in the record books as the greatest offense of all time. Peyton now has Julius Thomas and Wes Welker (Brady's former favorite target) to throw to, while Brady is still finding his footing with new receivers such as Kenbrell Thompkins and Danny Amendola.
If there's one thing to conclude heading into this meeting, it's this—don't expect this game to be a blowout as it was last season.