FOXBORO -- Much has been made of Denver's current offensive system, which is now controlled by Peyton Manning, of course.
The comparison to Manning's old Indianapolis Colts offensive system was first brought up on Monday -- in New England, at least -- by Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
Since then, some have agreed. Others have refused to give away too much.
On Thursday, Patriots veteran Vince Wilfork acknowledged just how much of the old Colts offense he sees in Manning's current Broncos system.
"It's a lot, it's a lot," said Wilfork before Thursday's practice. "It's a lot of stuff that he's accustomed to. It's a lot of stuff that made him Peyton Manning, that he's running. And it's very successful. He won a Super Bowl running it.
"When you have a guy like that, you have to be able to change up, and Denver has done a real good job of actually letting him come in and do what he does best, running things the way that he knows how to run it," added Wilfork. "I'm not saying that they totally threw away their game plan that they've been having, but you have to respect a guy at that level. And they have."
Wilfork said the strategy on Sunday will be to give Manning different looks, and to make it hard on the veteran quarterback who he knows will be well-prepared.
"He's one of the best," said Wilfork. "He works his tail off, and he's just a tough competitor. He's probably one of the toughest guys. You know, Philip Rivers is pretty competitive when you talk about quarterbacks. Tom Brady is very competitive. But that's what puts these guys in a whole different league, because they take it so seriously, and they want to win every down. They want the best out of everybody around them.
"It's never easy to prepare for this guy, never. He does a lot of things on the run. He brings the play count down to almost zero before snapping the ball, so he wants to make sure that he's got the best play called, to put his team in the best situation."
That, like everyone in New England saw when Manning's Colts teams would come to town, is no different.