Patriots-Broncos through stats-based lens

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A look at the New England Patriots-Denver Broncos matchup through a stats-based lens (via ESPN's Stats & Information):

1. Brady and Manning make history. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning face off for the 16th time (including playoffs, Brady owns a 10-5 edge overall). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this marks the first matchup in NFL history among opposing starting quarterbacks who had at least 150 career regular-season wins entering their game. Elias also reports the 890 combined career passing touchdowns for Manning (513) and Brady (377) are the most combined career passing touchdowns for opposing starting quarterbacks in NFL history. The previous record was 818, held by Manning and Brady last season

2. Patriots-Broncos combines with Cardinals-Cowboys to make a mark. The contest between the 6-1 Broncos and 6-2 Patriots isn’t the only marquee matchup of the week. The 6-2 Cowboys play host to the 6-1 Cardinals as well. It will be the first time since 1986 in which there are two games featuring teams that have at least six wins this early into the season.

3. Brady and Manning have been on fire in October. Both Brady and Manning are leading teams on a current four-game win streak, tied for the longest active streaks in the NFL. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, October 2014 was the first time in NFL history there were multiple quarterbacks with at least 14 touchdown passes in a single calendar month (breakdown of other October stats below):

Completion percentage

Brady: 69.4

Manning: 70.9


Brady: 100

Manning: 100

Passing yards per game

Brady: 317

Manning: 333

Yards per attempt

Brady: 8.8

Manning: 9.4

Total QBR

Brady: 91.1

Manning: 92.6

4. Talib's disruptive play. Former Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib co-leads the Broncos along with Chris Harris with six pass breakups this season.

5. Brady's 200th career regular-season start. Brady is making his 200th career NFL start in this game (154-45, .774 win percentage).

Most starts by a quarterback in NFL history

Brett Favre -- 298

Peyton Manning -- 247

Dan Marino -- 240

Fran Tarkenton -- 239

John Elway -- 231

Vinny Testaverde -- 214

Warren Moon -- 203

Tom Brady -- 200

6. Brady and the Broncos. Brady is 4-5 in his regular-season career against the Broncos, the only team he has a losing record as a starter against.

7. Gronkowski in the red zone. Rob Gronkowski has six catches on red zone plays this season, and all six have turned into touchdowns. His six red-zone touchdowns are one shy of the NFL lead held by Randall Cobb, Julius Thomas and Antonio Gates.

8. Gronkowski moving up Patriots TD ranks. Gronkowski's next touchdown of any kind will move him into sole possession of 2nd in Patriots history.

Most Total touchdowns in Patriots History

Stanley Morgan -- 68

Rob Gronkowski -- 50

Randy Moss -- 50

Ben Coates -- 50

Sam Cunningham -- 50

9. Patriots and Broncos take care of the football. The Patriots have five turnovers this season, one shy of the fewest in the NFL (Broncos have four). The Patriots' plus-11 turnover differential leads the NFL. They've gone four straight games without a turnover, the longest current streak in the league. In the last 10 seasons, the Patriots had the longest streak without a turnover -- 7 games -- from Week 10-16 in 2010.

10. Conference winning streak at home. The Patriots have won 33 straight regular-season home games against AFC opponents, the longest streak against AFC teams since the creation of the conferences for the 1970 season. Their last loss to an AFC team was against the Steelers in Week 13 of the 2008 season.