The Denver Broncos and New England Patriots meet on Sunday night in what is likely the premier AFC matchup in the current era. Led by future Hall of Fame quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, there's no question that it's the game that fans of either team likely circled when the schedules came out.
But can Manning exorcise his own personal demons against the Patriots and also turn things around for the Broncos in their games against New England in recent seasons?
Denver has lost four of their last five meetings against the Patriots, including last season's 31-21 loss on Oct. 7 in New England. This comes after the Broncos dominated the Patriots in the '80s and '90s, at one point winning 11 in a row, but it has been a lot closer since 1999, with Denver winning just six of their last 13 meetings.
Manning has had similar problems against Brady and the Patriots.
He is 6-11 in his career against New England, the most losses he has against any team by far. The second-most losses he has against any one time is seven against the Miami Dolphins. He has lost his last two meetings against Brady and is 1-2 in his career against them in the postseason. Can they win on Sunday night in New England?
Here at SB Nation, five of six panelists still say that the 9-1 Broncos will beat the 7-3 Patriots. The experts at CBS Sports weren't quite that heavily in favor of Denver, but five of eight are still saying that Manning will get the win over Brady.
Both experts at Yahoo! Sports are going with the Broncos as well. The fan vote there also favors Denver. The Broncos are also the heavy favorites over with the ESPN experts.
Despite Manning's so-so record against New England and the Patriots playing at home, most are saying that the team that presently looks like the best in the AFC will prove to be that on Sunday night.