ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - Round one of the Denver Broncos three-game gauntlet went in favor of the orange and blue.
Next up, the Broncos travel to the east coast for a Sunday night date with the New England Patriots. This will also be the 14th time that Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have faced each other on the gridiron with Brady going 9-4 in those games.
At 9-1, a win for the Broncos would go a long way towards securing a playoff spot. Here are the five matchups to look for during the game.
Peyton Manning vs Bill Belichick
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is 6-2 against Manning at New England, including in the postseason. Manning has thrown 17 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in those games. In order for the Patriots to win this matchup, Belichick will have to keep Manning in check despite having a banged-up secondary.
Demaryius Thomas vs Aqib Talib
Peyton Manning’s favorite target will look to have a huge day against Aqib Talib who is less than 100 percent with a hip injury. Demaryius Thomas will try to reduplicate last year’s performance against the Patriots as he had nine receptions for 180 yards.
Chris Harris vs Danny Amendola
On the opposite end, the Broncos will have to keep Wes Welker’s replacement Danny Amendola in check. Amedola has scored only once this season, but he is a dangerous receiver out of the slot position. Chris Harris, who has three interceptions on the season, will have the responsibility of covering Amendola.
Mike Adams vs Rob Gronkowski
When Tom Brady is in a tight spot, he often looks in Rob Gronkowski’s direction. Standing at a towering 6 feet 6 inches, "Gronk" has 24 receptions for 343 yards and two touchdowns in his four games since coming back from injury. Broncos safety Mike Adams will cover Gronkowski as he will be starting for the injured Raheem Moore.
Von Miller vs Nate Solder
Broncos Von Miller told reporters this week that he is a "work in progress" when it comes to his production during this season for far. Miller has 14 tackles and 2 sacks since he has returned from his four-game suspension to the Broncos starting lineup. Miller had 18.5 sacks last year, including two sacks against the Patriots last season. Miller will be headed up against former Colorado Buffaloes star left tackle Nate Solder.