On many levels, it's just silly to say that a preseason game could set the tone for a Super Bowl.
However, last year the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos met in Week 2 of the preseason. The Seahawks jumped all over the Broncos in that game, cruising to a 40-10 win.
Sound familiar at all?
Of course, Denver head coach John Fox downplayed the importance of Thursday's game while speaking with Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post:
Really, last year's forgotten. Everybody is 0-0. This is the 2014 season. It's no different than any other years. A year ago we lost to Baltimore (in the playoffs). I've said many times if you don't win the last game there's disappointment. That's behind us. We're so far along now, with different players and different schemes that we don't think about (the Super Bowl) much.
If you believe that, Fox also has some great oceanfront property near Tucson for sale cheap.
Yes, NFL players have to have short memories, but they're also human. In the last two matchups against the Seahawks, the Broncos have been outscored 83-18, a fact the talkative Seahawks aren't about to let Denver forget.
It won't be even a little surprising if the intensity level in this game is quite a bit higher than one might usually expect in an exhibition. In fact, the word "chippy" may well get thrown around during the broadcast.
At any rate, this matchup is easily the marquee game of the preseason's first full week of action.