Week 1: vs. Chargers (MNF). The Broncos get exiled to the late MNF game on Week 1 between two teams in the West. The good news is that this game is at home. The less than stellar news is that it’s against the likely weakest team in the AFC West. Still, every division win counts, and it was my preference to start off at home strong, so there’s a great opportunity for the Broncos to do so here.
Week 2: vs. Cowboys. Only six days to prepare for what should still be a very good Cowboys team, but the good news is that this is at home, coming off another home game. This will almost certainly deemed America’s Game Of The Week™ by Fox (only SF/SEA and WAS/LAR oppose it), so it’s another good opportunity for the Broncos to put out their best for a wide audience.
Week 3: at Bills. This is exactly the week I wanted to get the Bills–in warm September instead of snowy December–and that’s what we got. I’m quite happy with this week.
Week 4: vs. Raiders. A cromulent time to schedule Raider Week in Denver. September is a month that’s scheduled quite well for the Broncos.
Week 5: bye. This year, this is the earliest week any teams in the NFL will take a bye. Quite unfortunate, I always prefer a bye closest to Week 9, right in the middle.
Week 6: vs. Giants (SNF). The first six weeks of the season are in good shape for the Broncos. The Giants will not be a pushover by any means (neither will the Cowboys or Raiders), but it’s laid out where the Broncos can get off to a hot start. A hot start is what they will need, however–because the next four weeks are scheduled really bad for Denver…
Week 7: at Chargers. At least this tough stretch starts off with the Chargers. Hopefully Southern Californian Broncos fans will come out en masse to StubHub, as they have so often in the past in San Diego.
Week 8: at Chiefs (MNF). It could have been worse: getting an extra day to prepare for Arrowhead, likely their toughest division game this season, is appreciated. The Broncos will have finished four of six division games by this point, so we may know quite a lot about how their chances in the AFC West look at this point in the season.
Week 9: at Eagles. Yes, this year the Broncos get the bad luck of having three straight road games. Also. the downside to getting an extra day for Arrowhead is that they lose a day having to travel all the way to the East Coast. At least this is against an NFC foe, and likely the weakest of the NFC East teams, so if this is a trap game, it’s one that will not hurt the Broncos as much if they’re in a seeding battle outside the division.
Week 10: vs. Patriots (SNF). This is the most unfair part of the Broncos’ schedule: they must take on the defending Super Bowl champs after three straight road games. To make it even worse, the Patriots will be coming off a bye after this game. Thank goodness this game is in Denver, where the Patriots have a terrible record.
Week 11: vs. Bengals. Hopefully my instincts on the Bengals not taking a step back up are true, and this is a good recovery game from the brutal gauntlet from the past four weeks.
Week 12: at Raiders. I can’t complain much about the placement of either of the Raiders games. They just need to make sure they can secure the season sweep to continue to chip away at that all time head to head record.
Week 13: at Dolphins. My wishes for a December Dolphins game was satisfied. Adam Gase will be a formidable foe, but I suggest getting the locker room hyped up by pointing out that it’s time to change the fact that the only Broncos QB to have won in Miami is…Tim Tebow.
Week 14: vs. Jets. I don’t particularly prefer the Jets this late in the season–it would have been nice for them to break up that Week 7-10 gauntlet somehow, but another one of my wishes regarding them (perhaps the easiest game on the Broncos’ schedule) was satisfied…
Week 15: at Colts (TNF). I wanted the Broncos to face the Jets before a short week, and that’s exactly what they got. The Colts are also a fine opponent to get on a short week as well.
Week 16: at Redskins. A bit of a shame their 10-day stretch is wasted on an NFC foe, but at least it’s one they have to travel a long distance to face.
Week 17: vs. Chiefs. My final desired regular season opponent was also satisfied, it’s always nice to finish at home. Let’s hope there’s little to no question on Denver’s good standing in the AFC West by the time this game comes along!