Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 10/30/12
It's the midway point of the 2012 NFL season and Peyton Manning's Broncos are quietly lurking in the middle of the AFC conference standings with a 4-3 record. They've only won one game on the road, the Patriots and Texans each scored 31 points on them, and both of those teams seem to be getting a lot more media attention as the "teams to beat" out of the AFC this week. But watch out for Denver. Its road to New Orleans -- Peyton Manning's hometown -- just got a lot clearer. Let me explain. Manning brings in the TV ratings. Add in the intrigue around the fact that he hadn't played in 18 months, and the NFL knew No. 18 -- in his new Broncos digs, no less -- would be a big draw come the start of the 2012 season. So, they front-loaded Denver's schedule with primetime games against big-time opponents. Look at the Broncos' slate thus far: Week 1 vs. Pittsburgh -- Sunday night Week 2 vs. Atlanta -- Monday night Week 3 vs. Houston -- 4 p.m. ET national CBS game Week 4 vs. Oakland ...
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