Ever since the Denver Broncos fell to the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl, the Denver faithful have been eagerly awaiting their chance to get back to the gridiron. Although we knew which teams the Broncos would have on the 2014 slate, now we have the full schedule, and it’s going to be an eventful first month to say the least.
Week 1: vs. Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, September 7 at 8:30 PM Eastern
Week 2: vs. Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, September 14 at 4:25 PM Eastern
Week 3: at Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, September 21 at 4:35 PM Eastern
Week 4: Bye Week
Week 5: vs. Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, October 5 at 4:05 PM Eastern
Week 6: at New York Jets, Sunday, October 12 at 1 PM Eastern
Week 7: vs. San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, October 19 at 8:30 PM Eastern
Week 8: vs. San Diego Chargers, Thursday, October 23 at 8:25 PM Eastern
Week 9: at New England Patriots, Sunday, November 2 at 4:25 PM Eastern
Week 10: at Oakland Raiders, Sunday, November 9 at 4:05 PM Eastern
Week 11: at Saint Louis Rams, Sunday, November 16 at 1 PM Eastern
Week 12: vs. Miami Dolphins, Sunday, November 23 at 4:25 PM Eastern
Week 13: at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, November 30 at 8:30 PM Eastern
Week 14: vs. Buffalo Bills, Sunday, December 7 at 4:05 PM Eastern
Week 15: at San Diego Chargers, Sunday, December 14 at 4:05 PM Eastern
Week 16: at Cincinnati Bengals, Monday, December 22 at 8:30 PM Eastern
Week 17: vs. Oakland Raiders, Sunday, December 28 at 4:25 PM Eastern
The Broncos are once again the primetime darlings of the NFL, beginning with the opener against Peyton Manning‘s former team, the Colts. In addition to Indianapolis, they’ll face off with the 49ers, Chargers, Chiefs and Bengals — all 2013 playoff squads — under the bright lights of national television.
All in all, the Broncos have nine games scheduled against teams that made the postseason last year, so it’s going to be a tough road. If they’re going to make another run, the first month of the season is going to be integral. The Broncos were saddled with their bye in Week 4, meaning they have 13 games without a break down the stretch. As usual, the best teams from last year face the toughest challenges.
Certainly the 16th game between Manning and Tom Brady in Week 9 will be key for many reasons, but it’s also the start of a three-game road trip for Denver. The games against Oakland and St. Louis should be winnable, but going on the road in the NFL is always a test. With six of their last nine games away from the friendly, thin air of Invesco Field, this year’s Broncos are going to be battle-tested as they head into the playoffs.
With the addition of players like Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, and DeMarcus Ware, the Broncos look like a team ready to go all-in on the quest for the Lombardi Trophy. We should get a good idea very quickly if they can live up to the lofty expectations set out for them.