It may not be Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady, but Broncos vs. Patriots is just as big as ever.

Nobody expects anything from the Denver Broncos anymore, but a win against the undefeated champs would go a long way towards changing that. This is about as important of a game the Broncos have played during the regular season in a long time; a win could mean a shot at the No. 1 seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, while a loss could cap the Broncos ceiling at the three seed.

Luckily, based on the Patriots last two performances, the Broncos may be catching Tom Brady and Co. at the perfect time, if that’s possible.

Either way, here are five things the Denver Broncos have to do to beat the New England Patriots on Sunday:

Protect the ball:

Broncos have to do to beat the New England Patriots

The Broncos aren’t just playing an undefeated team; they’re playing the undefeated New England Patriots. There’s a difference. Between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, this team will take advantage of every little opportunity they’re given, and an extra possession is a big one.

The Patriots are fifth in the league in turnover differential at a +6, which doesn’t exactly bode well for a Denver Broncos team that’s already turned the ball over 19 times this season and is trotting out a first-year starter against a Belichick-led defense. If Denver wants to remain in this game, they need to take every precaution with the football; they need to treat it with the same protection they would a wandering toddler.

And I’m not just singling out Brock Osweiler. Obviously, he needs to be careful with the ball, but if worse comes to worse, I can forgive an interception; I won’t be as likely to forgive a fumble from a veteran — a dropped pass, too, for that matter.

For the Broncos, when they get two hands on the ball, they need to stay there. To beat the Patriots, you need to play the perfect game.