The Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos will kick off the 2016 NFL season in just a few hours. Thursday's iteration of Sunday Night Football -- yes, you read that correctly -- will be broadcast live on NBC beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET and can also be streamed online at NBCSports.com or via the NBC Sports app.
Denver, the defending Super Bowl champion, has a lot of questions to answer after the departure of quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler. Trevor Siemian is now the starter, beating out Mark Sanchez and rookie Paxton Lynch in the preseason.
One thing remains the same for the Broncos, though: Von Miller.
The best pass rusher in the league, Miller was integral to Denver's run in the postseason thanks to his constant harassment of opposing quarterbacks. With a lack of top receiving options for the Panthers, the Broncos thought the best way to shut down their offense in the Super Bowl was to get to quarterback Cam Newton before coverage broke down.
They were right. The Carolina offense crumbled, and its elite defense didn't fare much better. On Thursday, the Broncos will be hoping for more of the same from Miller and the rest of the defense as they face a Panthers team that hasn't had nearly as eventful an offseason.
Carolina returns most of its starters, including Newton and running back Jonathan Stewart. On top of that, they are getting back wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, a legitimate No. 1 receiver who missed all of last season with an injury. The defense expects to be just as strong as ever, too.
Then again, they were favored to win the Super Bowl after finishing the regular season with a 15-1 record. Crazy things happen in the NFL and it would be fitting for the Broncos to come out and look dominant in their first game since becoming Super Bowl champions.
Below is all the information you need to watch Thursday's game.
How to watch Panthers vs. Broncos on Thursday
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colo.
Announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth
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