By Tylor Walden on April 24, 2014
With the NFL Schedule released Wednesday night, the Denver Broncos know the sixteen teams that they are set to face. The Broncos had the unfortunate event of having their bye at Week Four, meaning they play thirteen games without a break. The road will be tough to repeat as AFC Champions, but there is no doubting a team led by Peyton Manning.
Here is my prediction on each game the Broncos play this season.
Peyton Manning hosts his former team at Mile High. The team will be looking to get off on the right track, as well as avenge a 39-33 loss to the Colts last season. Both teams will fight hard, but I believe home field advantage will play a big part in this game.
Broncos 34 Colts 28
The first divisional opponent is the team who was a threat to the Broncos in the AFC West race up until the end of the season. This team made a quick turnaround last season and made the playoffs. The Chiefs will give the Broncos a tough test, but the Broncos should keep the momentum going.
Broncos 31 Chiefs 21
The anticipated Super Bowl rematch kicks off in the third week of the season. Both teams will face off before their bye weeks, which makes this game even bigger as far as giving the winning team confidence going into their early break. The Broncos will look to avenge their embarrassing Super Bowl loss, but Seattle is a very difficult place to play. I believe their efforts will fall short.
Seahawks 27 Broncos 24
The Broncos have an early bye before facing thirteen straight games without a break. The bye week will help the team prepare for those long stretch of games as well as work on what they can improve on after three weeks of the season.
The Broncos come out of the bye week against an emerging Cardinals squad. The Cardinals unfortunately missed the playoffs despite finishing 10-6 on the year in 2013. This team could become a problem for the Broncos, but playing at home should help. This will perhaps be the most underrated game early on and the Broncos should emerge as the victors.
Broncos 35 Cardinals 23
The Broncos square off against their former wide out weapon Eric Decker in the Big Apple. The Broncos have not played the Jets since the comeback they made when Tim Tebow was at the helm back in 2011. The Jets are emerging, but they are going to have a difficult time going head to head with a tough football team. This could be a competitive game, but I believe the Broncos emerge in the end.
Broncos 31 Jets 20
An interconference heavyweight matchup takes center stage on Sunday Night Football as the Broncos and 49ers square off. I believe this could turn into a defensive battle when all is said and done. Home field will play a big part in this game and the Broncos should emerge victorious.
Broncos 24 49ers 21
In the first match against their divisional rivals, the Broncos and Chargers meet in a rematch of last year's thrilling divisional round game. The Chargers always find a way to play the Broncos tough, especially in the last few years. This one will come down to the last possession again, where I believe the Broncos will avenge their only home loss in 2013.
Broncos 31 Chargers 23
Manning vs Brady XVI takes center stage during week nine in a rematch of last year's AFC Championship Game. Aqib Talib will also be making his return to New England. These two teams are the class of the AFC and will certainly set the tone as the teams prepare to play for the playoffs. This game will come down to the wire, but it is never easy beating the Pats in Foxboro.
Patriots 34 Broncos 31
The final divisional rival the Broncos play the first time around make their appearance in Week 10. The Raiders have been in a funk as a franchise, but they always find a way to play a division rival tough and have a shot to upset. However, against the Broncos, that may be a tough task despite the home field advantage.
Broncos 35 Raiders 20
The final NFC West opponent the Broncos play in 2014 will be against the last place team from last year. However, the Rams did finish 7-9 in that tough division. This could be an interesting game but I believe the Broncos come out of this one in the end.
Broncos 34 Rams 21
Knowshon Moreno will make his return to the Mile High City. In my mind, the Broncos have their struggles against the Dolphins. Last time they played, it took a gutless effort from Tebow to lead the team to an overtime victory. There will be no need for that this time around. The Broncos should handle the Fins easily, even though they are improving.
Broncos 34 Dolphins 23
Now we get into the divisional rematches. The Broncos had a tough time against the Chiefs at Arrowhead last year, but Manning and Decker helped them out of that hole. I believe the Chiefs will learn from this and hand the Broncos their first division loss of the season. It will be a gritty game until the end, but the Chiefs will make one more play this time around.
Chiefs 31 Broncos 27
The Buffalo Bills come to town as the playoffs begin to shape up. The Bills won the last matchup in Buffalo in 2011 towards the end of the 2011 season, when Tebow started slumping. There will be no slump for Peyton Manning as I believe the Broncos will wrap up a playoff birth with a win.
Broncos 41 Bills 17
This game could decide the division when these two teams meet for the second time this season. Phillip Rivers tends to play his best later on in the season, but I do not think it will be enough to come away with a win. The Broncos will complete the sweep against the Chargers this time around and should clinch the AFC West.
Broncos 27 Chargers 23
In the Broncos' only Monday night game of the season, they head to the jungle to face Andy Dalton and the Bengals. This game could be a lot closer than people think, especially since the Bengals are at home, but the Broncos will continue to ride their winning streak against a formidable opponent.
Broncos 31 Bengals 24
For the second straight year, the Broncos will end their season against the Raiders. We may see Manning on the sideline in the second half as he gets the Broncos scoring early and often in the first half. With the playoffs in sight, the team will look to fine tune against a division opponent.
Broncos 38 Raiders 23
Regular Season Finish: 13-3, AFC West Champs
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