Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning gives a thumbs up to Broncos country heading into the 2012 season opener. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE
With the countdown to the Denver Broncos 2012 NFL season dwindling down to mere days away, it's time to look at the opponent. When the Broncos square off against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, it will be the 22nd regular season meeting between the two clubs and 29th total in NFL history.
The Broncos hold a 13-7-1 edge during the regular season against Pittsburgh and a 4-3 post season record (17-10-1 total). They are 7-3-1 at Home during that time. The rivalry began in 1970, when the Broncos beat the Steel men 16-13 in Week 2 at the old Mile High Stadium. The last time the Steelers came to town was the post season Overtime win in January, but the last regular season matchup was also in Denver. On November 9, 2009, Pittsburgh put a whooping on the Broncos 28-10.
Denver has compiled a 32-19-1 (.625) all-time opening-game record that ranks third in the NFL. They are 6-4 in their last 10 season openers.
The Broncos are opening the season at home for just the second time since 2004. They are 23-7-1 at home on opening day (Week 1) and have a 9-11 record in road openers.
Denver enters Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh with a 38-13-1 (.740) all-time record in home openers, including an 11-1 mark in its last 12 such games (since 2000). They are 24-4 in home openers during the Pat Bowlen era for a league best .857 winning percentage.
Since 1996, the Broncos own the NFL’s best record in the first month of the regular season. The club is 40-18 (.690) in the 58 games it has played in the first month of a season during the past 16 years. Last season, Denver posted a 1-2 record in the month of September.
The Broncos have played the Steelers on Kickoff Weekend just once in their history, beating Pittsburgh 14-10 in John Elway’s first career regular season game on Sept. 4, 1983.
Denver also owns an 18-15 (.545) all-time record in games played on Sunday nights, including a 10-6 mark at home. They have faced Pittsburgh twice on Sunday nights, beating the Steelers 20-13 on Nov. 3, 1991 and winning 31-28 on Oct. 21, 2007.
Head Coach John Fox enters his second season with the Broncos in 2012 after becoming just the third head coach since the 1970 NFL merger to take over a team with four or fewer victories the season before and lead it to a division title and at least one playoff win in his first year.
As he enters his second year as the Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations, John Elway has spearheaded the acquisitions of several key players—including the only 4-time MVP in league history, Peyton Freaking Manning!
NFL Records and Milestones to Keep an Eye on Heading into Week 1 of 2012 NFL Season (via sbnation)
Speaking of Manning, the 15-year veteran Quarterback's first touchdown pass this season will be the 400th of his career, joining Brett Favre (508) and Dan Marino (420) as the only players in NFL history to throw for 400 TDs in the regular season.
Manning is the league’s only four-time MVP and the NFL’s active leader in nearly every major passing category.
Peyton has the 4th-most regular-season wins (141) by a starting Quarterback in NFL history, trailing only Brett Favre (181), John Elway (148) and Dan Marino (147) in that category. I believe he can grab second place in this category by season's end.
Manning is tied with Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino for the most 300-yard passing games (63) in NFL history during the regular season.
He has also racked up 11 seasons with 4,000 yards passing to represent the most in NFL history. Three players are tied for second with 6 (Drew Brees, Brett Favre and Dan Marino).