The Broncos’ 2016 Opponents Are Set…We Think

Normally, I’d start off this post with the phrase “Along with the usual division rivals”, but thanks to the looming meetings on Los Angeles we don’t even know that for sure.  This is the rare year where the non-division rivals have been established first, thanks to the Broncos’ fifth straight AFC West title.  Here they are, beyond the fold:

Home Away
Houston Jacksonville
Indianapolis Tennessee
Atlanta New Orleans
Carolina Tampa Bay
New England Cincinnati

At this time last year, I felt that the Broncos got quite a favorable slate of home games, drawing the Patriots, Bengals, Ravens, Packers, and Vikings at home, with only the road games at Pittsburgh and Indianapolis being potentially troubling.  That sentiment was right on the money, as the Broncos respectively went 5-0 and 0-2 in those games.

This year, I’m getting the same feeling. The AFC South is a terrible division, but it’s a good bet that the Texans and Colts will remain the two best teams.  And in  the NFC South, the Panthers, of course, will be a marquee game, and the Falcons are a good bet to be the second best team again. The only caveat with the Jaguars and Bucs is if the Broncos have to travel there early in the season, as their record in September in Florida is a pathetic 0-5.

And of course, getting the Patriots in Denver is always preferable–I’d rather travel to Cincinnati than Foxboro. Finally, the Broncos have drawn the Bengals twice in a row on Week 16 Monday night…could the schedulers make it three in a row?  Probably not, but that was an odd quirk in 2014-2015.