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Broncos bye week: NFL games to watch and teams to scout

What to watch during the Broncos' bye.

Jim Rogash

The Denver Broncos have an early bye this week, so guys, take your lady to brunch. Hit Home Depot. Ladies, do what you do (I don't know what you do. Y'all are mysterious).

But most importantly, Broncos fans, you can take this opportunity to watch other NFL games and scout enemy football.

Here's you week 4 trip around the NFL, where we'll break down the games that will be televised Denver, other big games to watch, and a rooting guide.

Games on TV in Denver

All times Mountain. Via

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears - 11:00 a.m. FOX

For Broncos fans, the early game in Denver isn't that interesting at all - did you read my note about brunch and home depot? Don't get me wrong, this is a great rivalry game, and for the love of football, one of the best games of the week. But neither are on the Broncos' schedule, so there isn't a lot that directly interests Broncos fans. Unless you see one of these teams as a potential Super Bowl opponent. Look ahead much?

Who to root for: Since this is Broncos Country, it is un-American to root for Jay Cutler outside Chicago. Go Pack.

Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers - 2:05 p.m. CBS

The San Diego Chargers are the biggest threat in the division, so this game will give Denver a good opportunity to scout their Week 8 and 15 opponent. How good are Philip Rivers and company this year? They beat the Seattle Seahawks with a revivalist effort from Antonio Gates and the playmaking of Philip Rivers, converting multiple third downs to wear down Seattle's vaunted D. The Chargers should handle the Jags easily - they're 13.5-point favorites at home - so don't watch this hoping for a good game. Watch this hoping to find a potential exploit.

Who to root for: Always* root against division opponents. Go Jags.

Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers - 2:25 p.m. FOX

This is a great opportunity to scout the 49ers, the Broncos' Week 7 opponent, who have struggled to a 1-2 record to date and looking to right the ship. This game is of additional interest because the Eagles and Chip Kelly run a fast-paced passing offense that can lend us some insight to how San Francisco's defense might try to handle Denver's offense.

Who to root for: Broncos will get a strength of schedule boost if San Fran wins, so go Niners.

Sunday Night Football
New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys - 6:30 p.m. NBC

The NFC just doesn't do it for me. There are no rooting interests for Broncos fans here, and I couldn't be less interested in watching the Cowboys play. That being said, the Saints are always a fun watch, even if they haven't been quite as good as people expected.

Who to root for: Doesn't matter, but go Saints.

Monday Night Football 
New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs - 6:30 p.m. ESPN

Game of the Week for Broncos fans, easily. While the Broncos already escaped one game against Kansas City with a win, it was probably harder than it needed to be. Meanwhile, the Patriots are looking to find their groove in 2014, and this is their first game against a quality opponent (by last year's standards). I'm interested to see how the Pats o-line handles KC's defensive playmakers (particularly Dontari Poe), and I want to see what the Chiefs do to try to slow Tom Brady down.

Who to root for: *Sometimes it's okay to root for a division opponent. Who's the bigger threat to the Broncos' quest for the #1 seed in the AFC, the Chiefs or the Patriots? I would argue the Patriots, so go... Chiefs? [vomits]

Other games of note

Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans

The Bills and Texans are both surprisingly in the lead of their respective divisions, each at 2-1. The Broncos play the Bills in Week 14, so scouting these guys this early might be premature, but it's never too early to at least look at the schemes and personnel groupings a future opponent uses.

Who to root for: We want Bills to have a good record to improve Denver's strength of schedule tiebreakers, so go Buffalo.

Miami Dolphins at Oakland Raiders (in London)

Divisional opponent vs. Week 12 opponent, the only other game besides Chiefs-Patriots that features two of Denver's opponents this year. The Dolphins beat the Patriots in Week 1, so it's important to recognize that this isn't a team that can be completely overlooked. Meanwhile, the Raiders suck (their words), but "Any Given Sunday" definitely applies to division games. Let's do our due diligence and watch these Yanks play American football overseas.

Who to root for: *I'm tempted to say the Raiders, honestly. Neither team poses a big threat to Denver's AFC goals, and the Broncos' strength of schedule would get a slightly bigger boost if the Raiders, whom the Broncos play twice, beat the Dolphins, whom the Broncos play once. So, go... nope, can't say it. Go Broncos.

Which game are you looking forward to watching this weekend?