Good morning, Broncos Country!
As the Denver Broncos continue to make moves in free agency, and evaluate draft options, fans are lost in the Bermuda Triangle of the football season. That time between the hype of the combine and the actual draft is filled with rumor, conjecture, anxiety, and twitter arguments about whether picking a guard is smarter than picking a quarterback.
With the #NFL schedule set for release over the next few weeks, @AdamMalnati16 & I ponder what the #Broncos slate will look like. On the latest @MileHighReport Radio Podcast, I also wonder why anyone trades with the Patriots. https://t.co/wemyJfl5ZN— Ian St. Clair (@IanStClair) April 6, 2018
Hidden in the doldrums of April is the eventual release of the NFL schedule. On the Mile High Report Radio podcast Ian St. Clair and I took a look at the upcoming opponents for the Broncos, and tried to make some predictions about what the season could look like. We know who they will play, and where, but still don’t know the order.
Along with the obvious AFC West rivals, the home schedule also includes the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, and Houston Texans. The away Schedule has games at the Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, and New York Jets. There are definitely some intriguing games in that mix.
The first question: Who will the Broncos play to start the season? As Ian pointed out in the podcast, Denver has opened at home every season since 2011. That streak probably comes to an end in 2018. So, what would be an intriguing way for the Broncos to start the season? Maybe a trip out to San Francisco, so fans can wonder what might have been with Kyle Shanahan? A division rival? Perhaps a look at the Jets rookie QB in Week One?
Those are the matchups that stand out to me as potential season openers. The game that carries the most intrigue at home would be against the Rams. A visit from Aqib Talib and Wade Phillips to start the season would be a great way for the league to kick things off at Mile High Stadium. Otherwise, it might be interesting to see another rookie quarterback, having the Browns come to Denver to start the home schedule.
John Elway on Aqib Talib: "He brought a confidence, attitude and big-play ability to our defense that helped us win a lot of games, including Super Bowl 50. All of us have a lot of great memories from Aqib’s time in Denver, and we wish him the best in Los Angeles.”— Jon Heath (@ByJonHeath) March 14, 2018
Timing is a major factor as well. When the schedule is eventually released, when will Denver be traveling to Kansas City? If Denver plays the Chiefs in December, the chances of winning go down exponentially. Will the Broncos be facing a health Pittsburgh early in the season, or will they get a banged up Steelers team late in the season?
Of course, everyone will be looking for the bye week, as well. In 2017, the Broncos had a Week Five bye, which is incredibly early. Most players seem to like a late bye, and it will be important where that falls.
There are certainly some games on the schedule that will pique the interest of the fans. What say you Broncos Country? Which games are you most interested in for the 2018 season?
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