during the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado.

No matter what kind of season he's had, Bill Belichick won't bet against Peyton Manning

Belichick isn't talking bad about Manning, even in a down year.

Ahead of Denver's tilt with the New England Patriots, Broncos players have taken every opportunity to fire shots at quarterback Tom Brady.

The same can't be said for Patriots players or coaches toward the Broncos, though, as head coach Bill Belichick took an opportunity Wednesday to talk up Peyton Manning despite the quarterback having a relatively dreadful season.

Here's what Belichick said, per USA Today.

"Peyton is a great player," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday at his press conference from the team's facility. "We've had tremendous battles with him through the years. There's no player off our team I have more respect for than Peyton Manning. His preparation, his consistency, his skills, I would never, ever, ever underestimate him under any circumstances."

Manning and the Broncos take on the Patriots Sunday at 3:05 p.m. ET.