(ENGLEWOOD, Colo.) -- It all comes down to Peyton Manning if the Broncos are going to punch their ticket to the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Manning will go up against the Patriots once again in the AFC Championship game and understands it won't be easy playing a team that beat them during the regular season.
"I guess what I would say, if you have to prepare harder for this game that means you probably haven’t been preparing hard enough all season long," Manning said on Wednesday. "I really feel you have to treat every game -- every regular-season game -- as it’s the most important game."
"When you do that all season long, when you get to games like this it should flow right along. Obviously we know that we’re one of two games being played, but it has to start with the preparation. Our preparation has been good all season, it will be important that it’s solid again this week," he continued.
The Patriots beat Denver back in Week 12 with a game-winning field goal in overtime.
"I know our defense is in for a tough challenge facing Tom (Brady) and their offense," Manning said. "We have to do our part offensively. Our offense is in for a tough challenge facing their defense. Our defense has to help us out. The only way you beat good football teams is all three phases of the team contribute -- offense, defense and special teams. That’s probably never more true than when you are playing against the Patriots, in my opinion."
The last time Manning beat the Patriots in the playoffs was in 2006 with the Colts, the same year he won the Super Bowl.
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