Denver Broncos’ 2013 NFL Opponents Much Tougher Than Records Indicate
Denver Broncos' 2013 Schedule Tougher Than it Looks
The Denver Broncos' 2013 NFL opponents have been released and though it may seem like they have a pretty easy schedule, if you're looking at their opponents' records from 2012 you can bet it will be tough.
The Broncos will get their division rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders, twice each which in the recent past has been a very weak division.
Everyone in the AFC West will have to play all the teams in the AFC South and all the teams in the NFC East. The Broncos will also have to play the AFC East and AFC North division winners since they were a division winner.
The Broncos are 6-4 against the Chiefs over the last five seasons. The Chiefs have hired new head coach Andy Reid and are pretty solid already except at the quarterback position, so look for them to make a move via free agency or the NFL draft. The Chargers have also hired a new head coach who was previously the Broncos' offensive coordinator, Mike McCoy. The Raiders just always seem to be going nowhere and it looks as though QB Carson Palmer may be on his way out as well.
Here is a look at the rest of the opponents that the Broncos will see in 2013.
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The Broncos and the rest of the AFC West will have to play against each team in the AFC South. I will start with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who the Broncos will play at home.
The Jaguars shared the league's worst record at 2-14, but don't let that fool you. The Jaguars have a of couple up-and-coming WRs in Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts and they also will have a healthy Maurice Jones-Drew.
If they can get a star rookie, free agent QB or get either Chad Henne or Blaine Gabbert to step up and make huge improvements, the Jaguars will be very competitive.
In QB Andrew Luck's first season, he took the Indianapolis Colts to an 11-5 record and a playoff loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.
This is a very interesting matchup between QB Peyton Manning and Luck. Manning was released by the Colts so they could feel comfortable in drafting first overall in the NFL draft.
The Broncos have to travel to Indianapolis. You can bet this will be a primetime game.
The Houston Texans were responsible for one of the three losses that the Broncos suffered in 2012 and they will be just as tough in 2013. The Broncos will have to travel to Houston.
The Texans have arguably the best all around team in the NFL, but QB Matt Schaub just can't get them over the hump. If Schaub is on, they are really tough, but if not then they are beatable.
The Texans also have the Defensive Player of the Year on their roster in DE J.J. Watt.
Another game that could easy find prime time for the Broncos.
The Broncos will host the Tennessee Titans in 2013. The Titans were 6-10 last season with second-year QB Jake Locker taking a majority of the snaps.
This will be Locker's third year in the NFL and the Titans will expect big improvements. If Locker and the passing game can make some improvements with the help of WR Kenny Britt, second-year WR Kendall Wright and TE Jared Cook then you can expect RB Chris Johnson and the Titans' offense to flourish in 2013.
New England Patriots
The Broncos will also have to face the AFC East and AFC North's division winners and the New England Patriots won the East.
Tom Brady versus Peyton Manning is always exciting and 2013 should be no different as the Broncos have to travel to yet another top tier team.
Brady and the Patriots beat the Broncos last season on their way to a 12-4 record. Manning will be out to get Brady this time and who knows? It could be the last time that these two future Hall of Famers meet.
Both the Patriots and Broncos were upset by the Ravens in the playoffs so they will both be out to prove something in 2013.
This will definitely be a primetime game.
The Baltimore Ravens won the AFC North with a record of 10-6 then followed that by beating the Colts, Broncos, and Patriots on their way to a Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
Many believed that QB Joe Flacco wasn't a quarterback that could lead a team to a Super Bowl, but he proved them wrong.
The Ravens made a weird coaching move by firing their offensive coordinator and promoting quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell after a 9-4 star. This move paid off as Flacco improved and the Ravens as a whole improved as well.
The Ravens will be without their 17-year veteran leader LB Ray Lewis, but will still be a tough contest.
In another game that should be played in prime time, the Broncos will host the Ravens.
The Broncos and the rest of the AFC West will also have to play each team in the NFC East.
The Dallas Cowboys (8-8) missed the playoffs by losing in Week 17 to the Washington Redskins, but they played a lot better toward the end of the season. Cowboys WR Dez Bryant really stepped up for QB Tony Romo and became the receiver the Cowboys drafted him to be.
If the Cowboys can get a few more pieces and another receiving option to step up they may be really tough to handle.
This will be another tough game on the road for the Broncos and another game that could possibly be played in prime time, especially if it is on Thanksgiving.
The Washington Redskins went 10-6 with rookie QB Robert Griffin, but they also had the best rookie RB in Alfred Morris. This duo proved to be really tough to beat.
The Broncos do get the Redskins in Denver, but don't expect this to be an easy win. Maybe the Broncos will get them early when Griffin won't be 100% back from his injury.
If the Redskins could find a true number one receiver to go with what they already have on offense then they could take the NFL by storm in 2013.
New York Giants
Manning versus Manning in New York could easily be another potential primetime game. The brothers will battle it out and don't think for a second that Eli will go down easily just because the Giants went 9-7 last season.
New York battled several injuries and if WR Hakeem Nicks can get back to his old form, the Giants could be back to the Super Bowl.
Giants RB David Wilson showed some flashes of stardom and now he's the starter after Ahmad Bradshaw was cut, so we could be looking at a breakout season from the second-year pro.
This game will definitely be nationally televised, but Peyton won't let his little brother beat him, even in New York.
The Philadelphia Eagles put up one of their worst seasons in a while in 2012 with a 4-12 record, but they have a new coach in Chip Kelly and you can bet their offense will be quick and electrifying.
No one is sure who will be under center next season because it looked like the Eagles were done with QB Michael Vick and were moving on the Nick Foles, but Vick would be a much better fit in Kelly's offense.
They may draft someone or maybe one of these guys will step up and be a true signal-caller for the Eagles, but if someone can step in and lead this team, Philly has a chance to be really good.
Fortunately, the Broncos play get the always unpredictable Eagles at home.