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Broncos 2016 schedule: Denver has a couple of pretty brutal stretches

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When the NFL released the Broncos 2016 schedule, I noticed right away that they had two fairly difficult stretches in 2016. One is fairly short, but early and the other is quite long and very brutal.

The first happens right off the bat in weeks 1-3. I ranked these as difficult, but not brutal. The first two games are in Denver against the Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts, while the third is on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals.

My hope here is for the Broncos to finish 2-1. After that, there are easily seven straight winnable games with two or three that could be close affairs.

Then after the bye week it gets interesting. The Broncos play three out of four games on the road and how difficult that is really depends on how much the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars have improved. If those clubs are .500ish then the Broncos are going to have their hands full with the New England Patriots at home and then on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs on Christmas Day.

The more I look at this part of the schedule the more it feels like the Broncos could stumble somewhere in here and drop a game they should normally win.

Still, I see 10 wins on this schedule. That tells me there are 11-12 winnable games during the source of this season. Being the eternal optimist I am, I'll say the Broncos finish 12-4 in 2016 and take their sixth consecutive AFC West crown.

Denver Broncos 2016 schedule

All times Mountain.
Wk Day Date Opponent Time TV
1 Thu Sep 8 CAR Carolina Panthers
6:30 pm NBC (TNF)
2 Sun Sep 18 IND Indianapolis Colts
2:25 pm CBS
3 Sun Sep 25 CIN at Cincinnati Bengals
11:00 am CBS
4 Sun Oct 2 TB at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2:05 pm CBS
5 Sun Oct 9 ATL Atlanta Falcons
2:05 pm FOX
6 Thu
Oct 13 SD at San Diego Chargers
6:25 pm CBS (TNF)
7 Mon
Oct 24 HOU Houston Texans
6:30 pm ESPN (MNF)
8 Sun Oct 30 SD San Diego Chargers
2:05 pm CBS
9 Sun Nov 6 OAK at Oakland Raiders
6:30 pm NBC (SNF)
10 Sun Nov 13
NO at New Orleans Saints 11:00 am
CBS
11 Sun Nov 20
Bye Week
12 Sun Nov 27 KC Kansas City Chiefs
2:25 pm CBS
13 Sun Dec 4 JAX at Jacksonville Jaguars
11:00 am CBS
14 Sun
Dec 11 TEN at Tennessee Titans
11:00 am
CBS
15 Sun Dec 18 NE New England Patriots 2:25 pm CBS
16 Sun Dec 25 KC at Kansas City Chiefs
6:30 pm
NBC (SNF)
17 Sun Jan 1 OAK Oakland Raiders 2:25 pm CBS