5 Denver Broncos Matchups to Look Forward to in the 2013 NFL Season
Broncos Await Order of opponents
The NFL sure has a way to keep its fans interested and on edge throughout the full calendar year. We can now get past the one anxiety that has been prolonged, and is nearest to all of our hearts for our specific teams we root for: The release of the 2013 NFL schedule.
For fans of the Denver Broncos, we already know who the orange and blue will play at home as well as on the road. None of us know, however, in what order those opponents will be coming at the reigning AFC West champs.
Tomorrow night at 8 p.m. ET, the fodder will begin, and analysis will be brought to the forefront on what exactly will be the ceiling for the 2013 Broncos.
One thing is for certain for this year's Broncos is that their scheduled opponents will be relatively tougher than what they saw in 2012. They play the NFC East and the AFC South, and just for laughs, the schedule makers threw in the New England Patriots for good measure; in Foxboro.
There will be some great story-lines this season in several games(Manning vs. Manning), along with potential playoff matches being previewed(Broncos vs Texans).
The following slides represent five incredible games for the Broncos that will indelibly whet every fans' whistle and get your football juices flowing. So while we wait for the actual game by game schedule to be released tomorrow by the NFL, here is a rundown on some of those story-lines that should explode off your television screen as game-day approaches. Enjoy!
Broncos at Patriots Means Manning vs Brady XIV
The story-lines are always fantastic when Peyton Manning and Tom Brady step on the same field. Yet there is one in 2013 that will trump all that have come before: Wes Welker returning to Foxboro as a Bronco. Brady's favorite target the past few years has joined another future hall of famer in Manning in what may have been the biggest slight of all.
One thing is for sure, while we can argue all day long who the better quarterback is, there is no debating which team has the better receiving corps. This promises to be an all-out offensive attack, and the Broncos will try to beat the Patriots for the first time since 2009 in what is a rivalry that will soon come to an end.
Broncos vs Redskins-Shanahan Returns
That scowl, the entrenched prowl on the sideline and the crazy eyes of Mike Shanahan will return to the mile high city for the first time since being fired in 2008. Shanahan is an icon in Denver, winning two super bowls in a thirteen year stint as Broncos head coach. Be assured he will have a few tricks in the book for his former team.
This will be a game that both sides may pass as "just another Sunday", being so much time has passed. Realistically, any time a coach can show off his shiny, new toy as Shanahan has in Robert Griffin III and have the opportunity to beat his former team that fired him, you will see that crooked smile across the globe.
Broncos vs Ravens-Back to the Scene of the Crime
The meeting between the Broncos and Baltimore Ravens may very well be the first game of the year on Thursday night in Denver because of the Baltimore Orioles selfish ways. The Orioles are scheduled to play a night game and since both teams share a parking lot, they can not accommodate both teams at the same time. So if it plays out, and the schedule-makers decide to lead with this showcase, both teams will go back to the scene of the crime where Jacoby Jones stole the show to get behind Rahim Moore, sending their playoff game into overtime where the Ravens would eventually win.
Story-lines? This game has that with Elvis Dumervil returning to Denver after the fax-gate fiasco which led him into free agency. How about the Ravens losing key super bowl contributors like Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Paul Kruger and others to either retirement or free agency? Don't forget about Joe Flacco becoming one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL after his stellar playoff run? The reason this game does not rank higher in my list is simply because it is a regular season game between two teams heading in opposite directions.
While every Broncos fan may be starving for this re-match, this game will not have the same meaning as if it happened again in the playoffs. Here's hoping the Broncos can get this game behind them quick and move on to the next story-line of the 2013 NFL season.
Broncos at Giants-Manning vs Manning
This should be a game that everyone not only cherishes, but puts in their memory banks for a long time. This is more than likely the final regular season showdown between Peyton and younger brother Eli, unless circumstances lead to one or the other switching teams or playing much longer than expected. This will be the third edition of Manning Bowl and up until this point Peyton has gotten the better of Eli.
Anytime there are brothers of this stature squaring off with one another on two of the better teams in the league, the stories will run rampant. One other notable story lies in the fact that Super Bowl XLVIII will be played at Met Life Stadium, home of the New York Giants on Feb. 2, 2014. This may very well be the tune-up for the winds at the Meadowlands that Peyton may need, if and when the Broncos can get over the hump to reach their final destination. Who knows, maybe the NFL will get a real treat and see Manning Bowl IV in New Jersey.
Broncos at Colts-Manning's Homecoming
In my eyes, there is no better match-up than seeing Manning go back to Lucas Oil Stadium to play his former team, the Indianapolis Colts. When Colts owner Jim Irsay allowed Manning to leave and in turn he drafted QB Andrew Luck to replace him, nobody could have thought that they would never miss a beat. Now Peyton will be able to square off with the man who replaced him and try to school the young Luck in this anticipated match-up.
As Pro-Bowlers, Manning and Luck had the chance to spend some time together while I am sure sizing each other up for their imminent showdown. What would really make this game great would be a high-scoring, intense game that sees Manning and Luck duel to the final seconds tick off. This may also be a preview of what fans may see come playoff time as both teams are slated to have successful 2013 seasons.