“We have a tough task this weekend,” Denver Broncos defense end Malik Jackson told Mark Knudson of Sports Stampede on Mile High Sports AM 1340 in anticipation of this week’s matchup with the New England Patriots.

That might be the understatement of the season so far for the Broncos, who face an undefeated Patriots team that is allowing a league-best 18.2 points per game and scoring the second-most in the NFL at 32.3.

At least Denver has home field advantage on their side. Because New England carries wins in five of the last six meetings with the Broncos, their only loss coming in the 2013 AFC Championship at Sports Authority Field. They carry that history, plus a 13-game winning streak that stretches back to last year’s playoffs, with them into Denver hoping to all but lock up the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a win.

But the Patriots are banged up on the offensive line, something Jackson and the Broncos defense knows they will have to take advantage of if they hope to hand New England their first loss since Week 17 of last year and their first regular-season loss in Denver since 2009.

Jackson was able to watch New England from the comfort of home last Monday when the Patriots beat the Bills on Monday Night Football, but he says there’s not much to learn from that tape because of how well-coached they are. Buffalo, another one of the league’s top defenses, held New England to 20 points, but could only muster 13 of their own in the loss.

“As a player,” Jackson said about watching film on New England, “it’s cool to see people beat them [on certain plays], and how to beat them, but you know they’re going to get that fixed. We’re going to have to come with something different.”

So far this year, no one has been able to find that “something” that’s different enough to derail the Patriots and knock them from the ranks of the unbeatens.

Perhaps this time around it will be a backup quarterback for the Broncos. Denver will be without Peyton Manning, who is 1-3 against New England since coming to the Mile High City in 2012. Manning’s lingering plantar fasciitis will keep him out through at least Week 13 at San Diego.

Jackson, who was drafted the same year as Brock Osweiler, is excited to see what the young quarterback can do with this big opportunity and was impressed with the way he carried himself last week in his first career start. He thinks the team is better off, at least for now, under Osweiler.

“It hurts as a competitor to not be able to go out there and compete and earn your spot, but it was better for the team,” Jackson said of Osweiler starting in place of the injured Manning.

“It sucks,” he said about Manning having to sit out, “but he’s going to come back.”

In the meantime, Osweiler will be under center and offering something very different than what Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have seen from the Broncos since 2012.

Listen to the full interview with Malik Jackson, including talk about not getting to do his touchdown dance last week in Chicago, in the podcast below…

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