The first Sunday Night Football game of the season pits the Denver Broncos against the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is a rematch between two teams that faced each other back in January during the playoffs. The Broncos won that game, 29-23, on a Tim Tebow 80-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas on the first play from scrimmage during overtime.
This time around, though, Peyton Manning will be under center for the Broncos. His performance will almost assuredly be the story of the game. After missing the entire 2011 season, Manning will need to demonstrate that he's fully recovered from his neck injury. Manning's preseason resulted in a mixed performance, though he ended it strong with two touchdown passes in his final game.
The Broncos declared out only right guard Chris Kuper for the game on Sunday. He broke his forearm during training camp and should be back at the end of the month. The Steelers, though, have several players out for the game: safety Ryan Clark, guard David DeCastro and linebacker Stevenson Sylvester. Linebacker James Harrison is questionable with a knee injury. He didn't practice the last two days. Running back Rashard Mendenhall is making his way back from ACL surgery and doubtful for the game.
Game time/date: 6:20 p.m. MT, Sunday, Sept. 9
Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colo.
Odds: Denver opened as 3-point favorites and are now favored anywhere between 1 and 2 points.