Three prime-time games as well as four home games in a five-week span highlight the Denver Broncos' 2008 regular-season schedule, which was released by the National Football League on Tuesday. The Broncos are set to appear twice on ESPN's Monday Night Football and once on NFL Network's Thursday Night Football in addition to hosting four opponents in the five-game period between Weeks 2-6.
The Broncos kick off their 49th season of professional football on Sept. 8 with a national television appearance, facing the Oakland Raiders on ESPN's Monday Night Football at 7:15 p.m. PDT at McAfee Coliseum. Denver plays its first of two consecutive games at INVESCO Field at Mile High the following week with its home opener against defending AFC-West champion San Diego on Sunday, Sept. 14, at 2:15 p.m. MDT.
After back-to-back home games against 2007 playoff-qualifiers Tampa Bay and Jacksonville to begin October, Denver travels to New England to play its second Monday Night Football contest on Oct. 20 at Gillette Stadium. That 8:30 p.m. EDT game against the Patriots, who represented the AFC in Super Bowl XLII, marks the Broncos' final game before their Oct. 26 bye week date (Week 8).
Denver plays on a Thursday for the fourth consecutive season and appears on NFL Network's Thursday Night Football for the second year in a row on Nov. 6 when it visits Cleveland for an 8:15 p.m. EST game. That contest begins a four-week span (Weeks 10-13) in which the Broncos play three games on the road.
The Broncos' remaining home schedule includes Sunday games with 2:05 p.m. MST kickoffs against Oakland (Nov. 23), Kansas City (Dec. 7) and Buffalo (Dec. 21). Denver concludes the regular season on Dec. 28 in San Diego, facing the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium at 1:15 p.m. PST.
Denver's 2008 regular-season schedule features five games against four clubs that qualified for the playoffs last year. Its 2008 opponents had a combined record of 132-124 in 2007, giving the team a .516 strength of schedule that ties for eighth in the NFL.
In accordance with the NFL's flexible scheduling plan, the Broncos' schedule may include additional prime-time games late in the season. All NFL games scheduled for Sundays from Weeks 11-17 are eligible to be moved to the Sunday night game, which is televised nationally by NBC.
The Broncos' complete schedule is listed below with all kickoff times local at game sites.
DENVER BRONCOS 2008 SCHEDULE
(home games in caps; all times local at site of game)
Wk. Day Date Opponent Site Time TV
1 Sat. Aug. 9 at Houston Reliant Stadium 7 p.m. CDT CBS 4
2 Sat. Aug. 16 DALLAS INVESCO Field at Mile High 7 p.m. MDT CBS 4
3 Fri. Aug. 22 GREEN BAY INVESCO Field at Mile High 7 p.m. MDT CBS 4
4 Fri. Aug. 29 at Arizona University of Phoenix Stadium 7 p.m. MST CBS 4
Wk. Day Date Opponent Site Time TV
1 Mon. Sept. 8 at Oakland McAfee Coliseum 7:15 p.m. PDT ESPN (NTL)
2 Sun. Sept. 14 SAN DIEGO INVESCO Field at Mile High 2:15 p.m. MDT CBS
3 Sun. Sept. 21 NEW ORLEANS INVESCO Field at Mile High 2:05 p.m. MDT FOX
4 Sun. Sept. 28 at Kansas City Arrowhead Stadium 12 p.m. CDT CBS
5 Sun. Oct. 5 TAMPA BAY INVESCO Field at Mile High 2:05 p.m. MDT FOX
6 Sun. Oct. 12 JACKSONVILLE INVESCO Field at Mile High 2:05 p.m. MDT CBS
7 Mon. Oct. 20 at New England Gillette Stadium 8:30 p.m. EDT ESPN (NTL)
9 Sun. Nov. 2 MIAMI INVESCO Field at Mile High 2:05 p.m. MST CBS
10 Thu. Nov. 6 at Cleveland Cleveland Browns Stadium 8:15 p.m. EST NFLN (NTL)
11 Sun. Nov. 16 at Atlanta Georgia Dome 1 p.m. EST CBS*
12 Sun. Nov. 23 OAKLAND INVESCO Field at Mile High 2:05 p.m. MST CBS*
13 Sun. Nov. 30 at New York Jets Giants Stadium 1 p.m. EST CBS*
14 Sun. Dec. 7 KANSAS CITY INVESCO Field at Mile High 2:05 p.m. MST CBS*
15 Sun. Dec. 14 at Carolina Bank of America Stadium 1 p.m. EST CBS*
16 Sun. Dec. 21 BUFFALO INVESCO Field at Mile High 2:05 p.m. MST CBS*
17 Sun. Dec. 28 at San Diego Qualcomm Stadium 1:15 p.m. PST CBS*
* - All NFL games scheduled for Sundays from Weeks 11-17 are eligible to be moved to the Sunday night game, which is televised nationally by NBC.
(NTL) denotes nationally televised game