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Joel Dreessen prefers Peyton Manning on his side

Though much has changed in both locker rooms, the rematch of last season's wild card game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos on "Sunday Night Football" is one of the marquee games of Week 1.

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The biggest change has occurred at quarterback for the Broncos, with Peyton Manning replacing Tim Tebow under center. Broncos tight end Joel Dreessen discussed playing with Manning and facing the Steelers with our "NFL AM" crew.

"He looks like a very, very good quarterback to me," Dreessen said Friday. "You know, I spent quite a few years in Houston playing against him when he was with the Colts and I don't think we ever really beat a Peyton Manning-led Colts team. So it's fun to be on the same side as him right now."

Let the record show that the Texans did beat a Manning-led Colts team one time in four seasons, a 34-24 win in Week 1 of the 2010 season. Dreessen has faced the Steelers far fewer times in his career, just twice entering this weekend, but that's enough times to know there may not be a tougher defense in the league right now.

"I don't know that there is one," Dreessen said. "You know, hanging on to James Harrison and (LaMarr) Woodley on the edge, and of course you got Troy Polamalu running all around and doing his thing, so they're a very physical group. They've been consistently one of the best groups in the league for a reason. Their physical play and their confusing looks, so we got our work cut out for us, for sure."

Follow Brian McIntyre on Twitter @brian_mcintyre.

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