The Denver Broncos will play the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football tonight in a big Week 12 game in the NFL. The Broncos will be on a high having successfully taken down the previously unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs last week, but the Patriots will be an entirely different type of test, and will give a reasonable measure of how much this Broncos team will fare against the league's best come the postseason. Tonight's big game will start at 8.30 p.m. ET and can be watched online through free live stream (details below).
The Broncos and Patriots are top of the AFC West and AFC East respectively. The Broncos have only stumbled once this season, against Peyton Manning's old team, the Indianapolis Colts. That leaves them on 9-1 and being touted as the best team in the NFL this season.
The Patriots have not been in anywhere near as electric form as the Broncos; they have lost three, and even when they've won they have looked far from their best.
However, New England are clear at the top of the AFC East, and at 7-3 with their nearest rivals on 5-6 (the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins), even if they lose a few more games they will still likely win the division title.
The Broncos are ranked number 1 in the NFL in offense – by a long chalk. They are averaging just under 40 points per game (39.8 points), and posting an amazing 455.5 total yards per game.
Their power has been largely on the pass and through Peyton Manning, and on the pass they are recording 350.4 yards per game. Manning himself is 286 of 409 for an amazing 3,572 yards and an astonishing 34 touchdowns.
Julius Thomas has 10 touchdowns, Demaryius Thomas has 9 touchdowns, and Wes Welker has 9 touchdowns. Eric Decker has also gone 792 yards on 54 receives, and with so many options open to Manning, he has been successfully picking off opposition all season.
Offensively, the Broncos have not been able to pile on as many points in recent weeks; in Week 10 they put 28 points past the San Diego Chargers, and last week just 27 past the Kansas City Chiefs. Still impressive, but not the 50-odd points they were consistently managing earlier in the season. But the Broncos defense has tightened up somewhat, and they have looked much more solid on the other side of the ball recently.
New England suffered a 20-24 loss to the Carolina Panthers last week, and if they lose again today, they will be on a clear slide. However, considering the Panthers and Broncos are two of the most in-form teams in the NFL right now, the Patriots perhaps shouldn't let it shake their confidence too much.
Sunday Night Football between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots will start at 8.30 p.m. ET and can be watched on TV on the NBC network or online through free live stream by clicking here.