The Denver Broncos and the Pittsburgh Steelers begin their 2012 NFL regular season in less than a week when they kick off Sunday Night Football. Though many saw him during the preseason, Peyton Manning makes his regular season return after missing the entire 2011 season due to a neck injury. This is perhaps the storyline entering Week 1: How will Manning perform in real game action? There's no better stage on which to answer this question than in prime time football.
Manning's preseason offered mixed results. His first two games saw him throw several interceptions, but he came out throwing against the San Francisco 49ers, completing 10 of 12 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns. That was the last we saw of Manning on the field, as he sat out the preseason finale against the Arizona Cardinals.
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, will enter this game looking to make up for past mistakes, namely the playoff loss in January to the Broncos. That game, we will recall, ended after one play in overtime, an 80-yard touchdown pass from Tim Tebow to Demaryius Thomas. Tebow is gone, but Thomas is around to catch passes like that from Manning.
On Sunday, will Denver pick up its second victory over Pittsburgh in 2012?
Game time/date: 6:20 p.m. MT, Sunday, Sept. 9
Location: Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, Colo.
Odds: Denver opened at -3 and is currently favored at -1.