DENVER, CO - JANUARY 08: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers dives for the ball after losing it against Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 8, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Five nationally televised games, including a home opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on NBC's Sunday Night Football, and matchups with four of the seven other 2011 division champions highlight the Denver Broncos' 2012 regular-season schedule, which was released by the National Football League on Tuesday. The five primetime national television broadcasts are the second most in team history (6 in 2006) for a season.
Denver will open the season at home for the second consecutive season when it hosts Pittsburgh on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 6:20 p.m. MDT in its 34th all-time appearance on Sunday Night Football. It is just the second time in franchise history (1994-95) that the Broncos have opened consecutive seasons in primetime. The game marks a rematch of the Broncos' 29-23 overtime victory against the Steelers in the 2011 AFC Wild Card Round and is the first Sunday Night Football appearance for the club since the 2008 season.
The Broncos will make their 64th all-time appearance on ESPN's Monday Night Football in Week 2 at Atlanta on Sept. 17. The Broncos will be appearing on program for the 21st consecutive season, extending the NFL's longest active streak and representing the second-longest streak in league history. It is the eighth time in club annals that Denver has played on Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Football in consecutive weeks.
A matchup against Houston (Sept. 23) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High the following week will represent the third matchup in a row against an opponent that earned a playoff berth in 2011.
Denver will open AFC West divisional play at home the following Sunday against Oakland (Sept. 30) before playing a pair of road contests. Next, the Broncos travel to the defending AFC-Champion New England Patriots (Oct. 7), which extends the Broncos streak of playing one of the previous season's Super Bowl teams to 13 years.
The team then returns to Monday Night Football with trip to San Diego on Oct. 15, marking the third time in the past four seasons that the two divisional foes have matched up on Monday Night Football in San Diego. It is the 23rd season in team history that the club has appeared on Monday Night Football multiple times and the first since 2009.
After a bye in Week 7, the Broncos return home on Oct. 28 to take on New Orleans in the club's second Sunday Night Football matchup of the season.
The team then takes to the road in three of the next four weeks with games at Cincinnati (Nov. 4) and at Carolina (Nov. 11) before returning home against San Diego (Nov. 18). Denver then continues divisional play with a game at Kansas City (Nov. 25).
A home contest versus Tampa Bay (Dec. 2) precedes the team's final two road games of the season. The club kicks off its third multiple-game road trip of the season with a Thursday night matchup at Oakland (Dec. 6) that will be televised nationally on NFL Network. The team completes its road schedule with a game against the Ravens (Dec. 16) - the third time in four years that the two clubs square off in Baltimore.
Denver closes its schedule with a pair of Sunday home games against Cleveland (Dec. 23) and Kansas City (Dec. 30). It marks the fourth consecutive season that the Broncos' season finale has been played at home and the second year in a row that the final game has been against the Chiefs.
The 2012 regular-season schedule features seven games against clubs that qualified for the playoffs last year. Denver's regular-season opponents had a combined record of 139-117 (.543) in 2011 for the second-best winning percentage in the league.
In accordance with the NFL's flexible scheduling plan, all game times for Sundays in Weeks 11-17 are subject to change.
The Broncos' complete schedule is listed below with all times local at game sites. In addition, the club's preseason schedule with dates and times has been finalized.
|1||SEP 09||8:20 PM ET||NBC||STEELERS|
|2||SEP 17||8:30 PM ET||ESPN||AT FALCONS|
|3||SEP 23||4:15 PM ET||CBS||TEXANS|
|4||SEP 30||4:05 PM ET||CBS||RAIDERS|
|5||OCT 07||4:15 PM ET||CBS||AT PATRIOTS|
|6||OCT 15||8:30 PM ET||ESPN||AT CHARGERS|
|8||OCT 28||8:20 PM ET||NBC||SAINTS|
|9||NOV 04||1:00 PM ET||CBS||AT BENGALS|
|10||NOV 11||1:00 PM ET||CBS||AT PANTHERS|
|11||NOV 18||4:15 PM ET||CBS||CHARGERS|
|12||NOV 25||1:00 PM ET||CBS||AT CHIEFS|
|13||DEC 02||4:05 PM ET||FOX||BUCCANEERS|
|14||DEC 06||8:20 PM ET||NFLN||AT RAIDERS|
|15||DEC 16||1:00 PM ET||CBS||AT RAVENS|
|16||DEC 23||4:05 PM ET||CBS||BROWNS|
|17||DEC 30||4:15 PM ET||CBS||CHIEFS|