The Broncos’ preseason slate was met with deserved yawns. The real fun will come later in the month for the regular season schedule. The Broncos allegedly have the toughest 2017 schedule–in my opinion, using last year’s results on next year is regularly a dark art. Regardless, be it a tough schedule, easy schedule, or somewhere in between, it never hurts to get a schedule lined up more favorably. Here’s my attempt at how I’d do so.
Week 1: vs. Bengals. Start off a nice home game against a team that could face an uncertain future, given that Marvin Lewis is likely in a lame duck season.
Week 2: at Chiefs. Get the Arrowhead game out of the way quickly. Stealing a win here would be huge to get the Broncos off to a strong start, while a loss would not be a killer.
Week 3: at Bills. Get the Orchard Park game out of the way quickly too. No need to risk getting stuck in a lake effect blizzard there in December.
Week 4: vs. Cowboys. (SNF) Sending this game to NBC gives the Broncos a little extra time to recuperate from two road games in a row. I would also like to face the Cowboys early, in hopes that Dak Prescott will hit a second season wall as teams now have one season’s worth of tape on him.
Week 5: at Eagles. (MNF) What I said about Prescott could also apply to Carson Wentz, although he already hit a rookie wall late last season. Perhaps another wall is ahead of him, and the Broncos can contribute to catching him off guard early. I send this game to ESPN to give the Broncos an extra day to prepare for one of their longest road trips.
Week 6: vs. Jets. Most likely the easiest game on the Broncos’ schedule, it’s placed here to use as a wedge for the games before and after.
Week 7: at Chargers. (TNF) I realize this is highly unlikely since the Broncos’ TNF game happened in San Diego last year, but I think it would still be in the Broncos’ best interest to get it again. The hope here is that the will of the few Chargers fans in Los Angeles are already broken by then, and the stadium attendance turns into majority Broncos fans, as is tradition.
Week 8: at Raiders. Getting ten days to prepare for a Raider week is always nice. It would be even better if the Raiders draw the Patriots in Mexico City on Monday night the week before to give them only six days of rest.
Week 9: bye. I like the bye to be placed smack in the middle of the season.
Week 10: vs. Patriots (SNF) Getting the defending champions at home coming off a bye is what you want here.
Week 11: at Redskins. This is a team that I can’t get a good feel upon how they’re going to turn out. Seems like the week before Thanksgiving is the best time I can find to take a trip to Landover.
Week 12: vs. Giants. Get back in Denver and start tuning up for a home stand that starts against an NFC team.
Week 13: vs. Raiders (MNF). Raider week in Denver being the second of two consecutive home games on Monday night is the best way I see to handle this.
Week 14: at Colts. I’m not terribly high on Indianapolis in 2017 due to Chris Ballard probably needing more than one season to patch the mistakes of Ryan Grigson. This looks like a good road game to be played indoors in December.
Week 15: vs. Chargers. If all goes well, this is a easier home game in the late stretch against a Chargers team that’s well out of contention.
Week 16: at Dolphins. This placement should go without saying: go to Miami as late as possible. And on the other side, I would very much like the Raiders to get sent there Week 1 with lots of heat and humidity as the Dolphins force them to wear black.
Week 17: vs. Chiefs. Close out the regular season at home against a prime competitor for the AFC West.
That’s what I’d like to see for now, how about you? Feel free to post your own preferred schedule in the comments.