INDIANAPOLIS – Let the hype begin.
The Denver Broncos, led by former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, will bring their undefeated record to Lucas Oil Stadium for Sunday Night Football this weekend.
In winning their first six games, the Broncos have set an NFL record with 265 points after six weeks and Manning’s 22 touchdown passes is also a league record.
Denver has played just one game that has been closer than a 16-point differential and has scored at least 35 points in every contest.
Manning leads the NFL in nearly every passing category and will return to play his former team sporting a 22:2 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Running back Knowshon Moreno leads the entire NFL with seven touchdowns and he’s a part of three different running backs that Denver will employ throughout the game.
The Broncos have four receivers who have caught at least 31 passes and wide receiver Wes Welker (eight touchdowns) and tight end Julius Thomas (seven touchdowns) get a ton of red zone attention from Manning.
Defensively, the Broncos lead the league in stopping the run but have the worst pass defense in the NFL.
All-Pro cornerback Champ Bailey made his 2013 debut last weekend and outside linebacker Von Miller (30 career sacks in his first two NFL seasons) is back from suspension this weekend.
Along with the pass defense, the other surprising stat for the Broncos is the fact they are just even (10 forced turnovers and 10 committed turnovers) in the takeaways battle, despite their dominant start.
Offensively, the Broncos lead the league in total yards, passing yards, fewest sacks given up, first downs, third-down percentage, red zone efficiency and points per game.
Manning will see a Colts team that currently has 13 players that previously played with the 12-time Pro Bowler.
2013 Record: 6-0, tied for 1st in the AFC West.
Head Coach: John Fox, 3rd season as Broncos head coach and 12th NFL season as head coach (99-82 overall regular season, 6-5 playoffs).
2013 NFL Rankings: Offense – Overall, 1st (476.0); Rushing, 15th (115.3); Passing, 1st (360.7) Defense – Overall, 29th (407.5); Rushing, 1st (69.8); Passing, 32nd (337.7).
2013 Leading Passer: Peyton Manning (178-of-240 comp., 2,179 yards, 74.2 pct., 22 TDs, 2 INTs).
2013 Leading Rusher: Knowshon Moreno (80 carries, 373 yards, 7 TDs).
2013 Leading Receiver: Demaryius Thomas (37 receptions, 528 yards, 4TDs).
2013 Leading Sacker: Shaun Philips (5.5).
2013 Turnover Breakdown: Even (tied for 16th in the NFL).
2013 NFL Draft Results: The Broncos had a relatively quiet draft as they did not pick until the 28th spot in the first round. Denver chose North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams with the 28th overall selection. In the second round, Denver went with Wisconsin running back Montee Ball. Through six games, Ball already has 43 carries in his rookie season.
2012 Review: In Peyton Manning’s first season with the Broncos, he led Denver to a 13-3 record before the team bowed out in the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs. The Broncos won 11 straight games to close out the regular season and thanks to seven Pro Bowlers, they earned a bye in the playoffs. However, Denver fell in double overtime, 38-35, to the Baltimore Ravens after giving up a game-tying 70-yard touchdown pass with 31 seconds remaining.
Last time in Playoffs: 2012 season. Lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 38-35, in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Last time in Super Bowl: 1998 season. Won Super Bowl XXXIII, 34-19, over the Atlanta Falcons.
Super Bowl Championships: Two. 1997 and 1998.
2013 Pro Bowl Selections: CB-Champ Bailey, OT-Ryan Clady, DE-Elvis Dumervil, QB-Peyton Manning, OLB-Von Miller, OG-Zane Beadles, WR-Demaryius Thomas.