Denver Broncos vs New England Patriots Sunday Night Football Preview, TV & Live Stream Schedule
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Longtime rivals Peyton Manning and Tom Brady face off for the 14th time in their storied careers in a prime-time showdown on Sunday Night Football.
Their Sunday night match-up marks the first time in National Football League (NFL) history that both starting quarterbacks are at least 90 games over .500 in their careers. Manning is third in overall winning percentage going 163-71 in his career while Brady is 143-42, the best winning percentage in the modern era. Manning is also on pace to break the single-season record for most touchdowns in a season, having thrown for 34 touchdowns thus far, trying to break Brady's record of 50 touchdown passes that he set in 2007, which broke Manning's record of 49 that he set in 2004.
"It's always a great matchup," said Broncos interim head coach Jack Del Rio about Sundays quarterback matchup. "You're talking about two of the premier quarterbacks in the league and it's going to be shown in primetime and all that."
On top of the two most prolific quarterbacks going up against one another, former New England Patriot (7-3) wide receiver, Wes Welker, makes his return to Foxboro - in a Denver Broncos (9-1) uniform - where he spent six successful years catching passes for Brady. Welker caught 672 catches during his tenure with the Patriots, going over 1,000 receiving yards five of those seasons and 37 touchdowns. Welker, who caught eight passes for 72 yards before leaving the game with a concussion last Sunday against Kansas City's hard-hitting defense, is expected to play against his former team.
"I want to be out there," said Welker, who passed his baseline concussion test and returned to practice this week. "I mean, there are not too many games I've missed in my whole career and I love playing the game, especially in big atmospheres like this. So, I'm doing everything possible in my power to make sure that I get the opportunity to play in a game like this."
Welker provided Manning with as much help as possible before leaving the game, with the quarterback facing the league's best defense on an injured ankle and going 24-for-40 and 323 yards, tossing a touchdown. Manning's offensive line preventing the league's leading team in sacks from getting to their franchise quarterback in their 27-17 win over Kansas City - taking the lead in the chase for home-field advantage throughout the AFC Conference playoffs and the AFC West division.
The Patriots are looking to bounce back after a controversial 24-20 lose to the surging Carolina Panthers, last Monday, with the end of the game finishing with Brady barking at the referees as he went back to the locker room. Brady, whose team was down by four points with under a minute left in the game, drove down to the Panthers' 18-yard line before throwing a pass that was intercepted in the end zone as it appeared his TE Rob Gronkowski was held by Carolina LB Luke Kuechly. An official threw a flag on the last play only to pick it up indicating no penalty was called.
While the Brady was upset about how the game ended, Brady pointed out that his 29-of-40 passes for 296 yards with one touchdown was partly to blame for their loss despite the how the last of play of the game went down.
"I wish it wouldn't have come down to that," said Brady. "I mean I think there were plenty of plays we could have made, but it did and they're going to make a call or they're not going to make the call. We can play better than that."
You can catch the Denver Broncos - New England Patriots Sunday Night Football broadcast 8:30 p.m. Sunday night on NBC.
In other Sunday Week 12 NFL action:
Indianapolis Colts (7-3) vs Arizona Cardinals (6-4)