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Sunday Night Football: New England Patriots v. Denver Broncos

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The undefeated Patriots roll into Denver for tonight's AFC showdown edition of Sunday Night Football. Share your thoughts live during the game with fellow fans right here on Battle Red Blog.

"Gronkapalooza"
"Gronkapalooza"
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The New England Patriots arrive in Denver with a perfect 10-0 record to take on the 8-2 Broncos.  Before the season started, this was likely expected to be a shootout between two of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history: Tom Brady facing Peyton Manning.  Two weeks ago, Peyton broke Brett Favre's passing record in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs (5-5) and suffered a foot injury (plantar fasciitis) that will keep him sidelined tonight as QB Brock Osweiler leads the offense for Denver.

NFL.com covered the moment in THIS article:

Breaking the record must hold special meaning for Manning, who is not shy about his love for NFL history. He just didn't have time to enjoy the record for long. Manning, who was on the injury report with a foot issue, was benched midway through the third quarter after throwing four interceptions. He finished 5-of-20 passing for only 35 yards. Brock Osweiler took over with the Broncos trailing 22-0.

Manning's day started poorly. His first pass attempt Sunday was an interception to Kansas City rookie cornerback Marcus Peters on a bomb down the middle of the field. He subsequently set the record on a four-yard pass to running back Ronnie Hillman with 10:37 left in the first quarter against Kansas City set the record in a scoreless game. With the pass, Manning moved to 71,840 career passing yards.

Officials briefly stopped the game when Manning broke the mark to recognize the achievement. Manning recognized a huge ovation from the crowd, although he looked eager to move on to the team's ensuing third-down play. Manning has a chance to break Favre's all-time regular-season wins record (186) with a victory over the Chiefs as well.

It looks like Manning will have to wait at least another week to set that wins record. And this performance is only going to raise more questions about his ability to continue running this Gary Kubiak offense for the rest of the season.

The Broncos are in control of the AFC West with a three game lead, but can they hold onto first place without Peyton Manning?  They managed to barely beat the Chicago Bears (5-6) last week with Brock under center, so tonight's tilt against the Patriots could be a huge challenge for Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips to try and outwit Bill Belichick.

Here is the comparison from NFL.com:

That's your preview for tonight's big game.  The comments section is open, and the usual rules apply.

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