For the third straight season, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos will open the regular season in prime time.
The NFL decided to give the Broncos all of its juiciest games to start the year, as the Broncos schedule features three playoff teams in Denver's first three weeks.
Denver Broncos 2014 Schedule
|All times Mountain.|
Kansas City Chiefs
|3||Sun||Sep 21||at Seattle Seahawks||2:25 pm||CBS|
|6||Sun||Oct 12||at New York Jets
San Francisco 49ers
San Diego Chargers
|9||Sun||Nov 2||at New England Patriots
|10||Sun||Nov 9||at Oakland Raiders
|11||Sun||Nov 16||at St. Louis Rams
||at Kansas City Chiefs||
|15||Sun||Dec 14||at San Diego Chargers||2:05 pm||CBS|
||Dec 22||at Cincinnati Bengals
||Dec 28||Oakland Raiders
What does John Elway think?
"I think when you look at it, we have to start fast," Elway said in a statement. "We have three playoff teams the first three weeks with the Colts, Chiefs and the Seahawks. We have to get off to a quick start. We knew it was going to be a tough schedule playing the NFC West, and when we finish first in our division like we have the past three years, it is always going to be a tough schedule with a lot of good football teams on it. I think there are a lot of good things about it and we’ll do the best we can with it."
When are the prime time games?
Highlighted in bold above, the prime time games are:
- Week 1 - Sunday Sept. 7th - vs. Colts
- Week 7 - Sunday Oct. 19th - vs. 49ers
- Week 8 - Thursday Oct. 23rd - vs. Chargers (TNF re-match from a year ago)
- Week 13 - Sunday Nov 30th - at Chiefs
- Week 16 - Mon Dec. 22nd - at Bengals
Recall that, this year, games start to be flexed starting Week 5.
When's the bye?
Week 4. Boy that's an early bye. The Broncos do get a mini-bye between the Thursday Night game in Week 8, but that's still only midway through the season. It will be a long finishing stretch to the playoffs, and a first-round playoff bye will be paramount to Denver's Super Bowl chances.
What's the toughest stretch?
That's easily weeks 1-3, where the Broncos will face back-to-back-to-back playoff teams from 2013 ‐ and two of the four teams that beat them in 2013.
I think, strategically, from a "I want to win the Super Bowl" perspective... this schedule has its good and its bad. The early bye is back-breaking for me, but at least the toughest games will be out of the way too. What do you think?