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Broncos 2016 schedule: Denver snags a favorable slate

Limited travel and basically three byes make this season's schedule an early win for the Broncos.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Two trips to the East Coast. And those two trips are separated by eight weeks.

That's a major win for the Denver Broncos when it comes to their schedule.

Avoiding cross-country trips is a good thing for any football team. That alone makes the 2016 slate very favorable for the defending Super Bowl champs.

By the way, that still is the case, despite all the doom and gloom from the national pundits. What's the hogwash line they throw out when the New England Patriots win the Lombardi Trophy? "Until you beat them, they're still the champs." Apparently unless you're the Broncos and don't throw Monopoly money at a quarterback who has started seven games.

Yes, Denver is still home to the Super Bowl champs.

But I digress.

In all, the Broncos have a favorable schedule in 2016, and that has nothing to do with the strength of the schedule. That's a useless predictor of games, especially in April, because no team is the same. Too much is unknown about every team to use last season as a gauge for future success. Yes, Denver had the ninth toughest schedule last April and finished with the ninth toughest schedule on Dec. 29, but that's the outlier when it comes to strength of schedule. More often than not, let alone in April, it means nothing. For what it's worth, Denver has the 14th toughest schedule in 2016.

What makes the Broncos' schedule even more favorable is they have three byes. On top of the Week 11 bye, they get a mini bye after the Thursday opener against the Carolina Panthers and another one after the Week 6 Thursday Night home game in San Diego. In all, Denver has three byes evenly spread out through the first part of the season - five weeks between each. That also means the Broncos have at least 10 days to prepare for home games against the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans, a game played on Monday Night Football.

As linebacker Brandon Marshall told The Denver Post, "(Brock Osweiler) better be ready, cuz we are coming for him."

Denver does have three, two-game road trips, with the most difficult in terms of travel being Weeks 9 and 10 when it travels to Oakland on Sunday Night then to New Orleans on Sunday, Nov. 13.

Compare that with the Los Angeles Rams, though, and the Broncos have it easy. The Rams travel to Tampa, Detroit, London, New Orleans, New York and New England. Have fun with that.

Fans will have two, two-game homestands to see the Broncos, but in reality, the second of those is three games since the first is in San Diego.

Based on the early returns, that's a very favorable schedule for the defending Super Bowl champs. How good those teams, or even Denver, become, no one knows. We still have over five months until the season starts, and two weeks until the draft.

As it stands in April, the Broncos already got a win.

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
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
15 Sun Dec 18 NE New England Patriots 2:25 pm CBS
16 Sun Dec 25 KC at Kansas City Chiefs
6:30 pm
17 Sun Jan 1 OAK Oakland Raiders 2:25 pm CBS