The staff here at Mile High Report got together to dissect the Denver Broncos 2016 regular schedule and there is one thing I personally got from it. We are an optimistic bunch of Broncos fans.
Being the only one to give the Broncos less than thirteen wins was a bit shocking and a testament to how optimistic we all are heading into 2016 as fans of the defending Super Bowl champions. There were four 14-2 predictions, two 15-1 predictions and even a 15-0-1 prediction. What the heck, I say!
|Week||Opponent||Tim||Ian H.||Scotty||Pete (Sanchez)||Pete (Kap)||Pete |
|Ian S.||Laurie||Jeff (Kap)||Sadaraine|
The few takeaways I had from this list is that Pete spent way to much time on this and no one is fond of the road games at the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3 or Christmas Night in Arrowhead in Week 16. We also seem to think the Oakland Raiders will be a more competitive football team in 2016.
I originally came up with an 11-5 record, based on Mark Sanchez being the quarterback. The thought of the Broncos losing at home to the Patriots disgusted me too much, so I put a scratch on that one. We, as a group, are clearly optimistic about the Broncos chances in 2016 despite not even knowing who the quarterback is.
With the homerism at an apparent all-time high, thanks in large part to the Super Bowl 50 championship glow on the Mile High City, we decided to pair it down a bit and name the Broncos toughest game of 2016 and our own personal favorite.
Broncos' toughest game in 2016
The consensus is split between the aforementioned Christmas Day game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium and the Super Bowl 50 rematch.
Tim Lynch: Kansas City on Christmas Day. Playing in Arrowhead in December has always been a dreadful event for the Denver Broncos, but doing it in primetime on Christmas? Ouch. I'll be rooting for a win, but I am marking this one as a loss right now.
Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann: Hard to pick one because as Elway said, everyone will be gunning for the defending champs. While I think the away game at Cincinnati could be the toughest, I also realize it could be a lot harder as Vontaze Burfict will still be on suspension in Week 3. It will also be early in the season and good weather...all things that favor us having a good showing on the road. Hosting the Panthers and Patriots at home tips these games in our favor...though I may change my mind after a clearer QB picture. So, sadly I'm picking the Christmas Day game in KC as the toughest - Arrowhead in December is going to require some of Santa's help - and even though I'm counting it as one of our losses, I'm obviously hoping for a nice Christmas gift!
Jeff (Nastyj): Opening day against Carolina. They are going to be out for revenge after the Super Bowl and will have Kelvin Benjamin healthy as well. Additionally, it will be our QB's (whoever it ends up being) first start in our system and I could see the offense being pretty shaky. This game, to me, is more about the timing of it being played than me worried about the Panthers necessarily. Give me the Panthers in week 8 at home and we win no problem.
Sadaraine: At Cincinnati. I have the utmost respect for the work that has been done the past few years in Cincy. They have a superb defense that gives offenses fits and they have an offense that is balanced and has the ability to blow the top off your defense in a moment's notice. There is no other team on our 2016 schedule that will be tougher than Cincinnati.
Ian St. Clair: At Kansas City on Christmas Day. The Broncos have struggled, to say the least, when they play at Arrowhead Stadium in December. It doesn't matter who plays or coaches, this is Denver's vice. The Broncos are 3-16 all time when they head to Kansas City in December. What could give Broncos Country and the team hope? The last three such games Denver is 2-1. Still, history is not on the Broncos' side.
Ian Henson: There is no one anywhere in the world that wants to beat the Broncos more than the Carolina Panthers. They've had all offseason to think about it and Josh Norman still thinks he's innocent of the PI on the goal line going up against Demaryius Thomas. Cam Newton's still upset that he just missed Jericho Cotchery, everyone of the Panthers receivers hates Aqib Talib. There might be blood.
Kelly Fleming: Week one is always full of flukey wins while teams try to figure out new plays, gel with new players, and get their rhythm. The Broncos will be trying to get used to whoever the new quarterback is and what that brings to the table. I do know it will be much different than what Peyton brought, no matter who that person ends up being, and that will take some time for the rest of the players to get used to on and off the field. The Panthers will be out for revenge, the same way the Broncos were in 2012 when they opened the season against the Ravens. I hope that the success doesn’t go to the heads of Broncos players in the offseason and they stay grounded looking to repeat. I hope the Broncos aren’t favored to win any of their games this season, because that seems to work for this crew.
Our favorite Broncos game in 2016
It's hard not to pick the homecoming of Brent, err, Brock Osweiler in Week 7 on Monday Night Football. The Broncos defense is already pining at welcoming the Osweiler-led Houston Texans to the Mile High City. It won't be a fun evening for them.
Tim: Week 7, Monday Night Football. The Broncos will be welcoming back Brent, err, Brock Osweiler. I hope to see seven sacks, two forced fumbles and three interceptions to go along with a 40-0 beatdown of the Houston Texans. That's what I'll be rooting for.
Laurie: Texans in Week 7 followed by a close second in the Panthers game Week 1. I love the season opener excitement, but I think the building rivalry with the Texans is going to make for a great home game. And as much as I'm not mad at Osweiler, I still can't wait to see him get sacked ... about 17 times!
Jeff: New England week 15. This one makes me nervous, but it would be really nice to beat Brady 3 times in a row. There are bound to be serious playoff implications for this game due to how late in the season it is. Should be exciting!
Sadaraine: Week 1 vs Carolina. I absolutely love that we're going to get to lay the wood on Cam to end his 2015 season and to start his 2016 season. Make no mistake: if we win this game, we will own real estate in Newton and the Panther's heads for years.
Ian St. Clair: Can't pick just one, so it's a three-way tie. The opener against Carolina, the Monday Night game against Houston in Week 7 and Week 15 against New England. The chance to see Von Miller and the Broncos defense wreak havoc on all three of those quarterbacks and offenses makes me giddy with anticipation. I'm like a fat kid about to get cake and it's only April. And all three games at Mile High? The Rocky Mountain Thunder will be loud and proud. Those QBs and offenses best bring their bibs because it's going to get messy.
Ian Henson: Houston on Monday night, because let's be honest Brock Osweiler is about to go the way of Jay Cutler and Tim Tebow and possibly Jake Plummer. It works two ways, the Broncos defense has faced Brock Osweiler countless times in practice and Osweiler knows where all of the bodies are buried. Let's have some fun.
Honorable Mention: at Jacksonville. Malik Jackson had the biggest offseason contract this season (Osweiler had the third highest for what it is worth), but Von Miller will knock them both down if and when he agrees to his long-term contract this offseason. So you've got Jackson versus his superior officer and that's going to be fun to watch, on top of that explosive offense (including Julius Thomas) versus the #NoFlyZone.
Kelly: Houston at home on Monday night. Osweiler didn’t want to be in the shadow of John Elway or Peyton Manning, so he skipped town. Now he will know what it feels like to be in the shadow of Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware, literally. The crowd will be energized, Brock will be under pressure and the Broncos have the advantage of knowing his weaknesses. I fully expect them to exploit the crap out of those weaknesses with Wade making the calls.
So Broncos Country, what do you think the Broncos' toughest game and what game do you most look forward to watching in 2016?