So Vegas has us at 10.5 wins for next season, so I thought I would take an early breakdown of the season schedule and muse what the realistic expectations for next season are (in my opinion).
So week 1 - We play in Seattle and this will be a pretty hype game for both teams, but lets face reality. Assuming we go into the season relatively healthy this game might be somewhat close due to some jitters to begin with from Wilson playing at Seattle (remember Peyton had issues facing the Colts in Indy), and fact Pete Carroll probably has Wilson scouted better than any coach on the planet. But I trust our team will have the talent win out and in the end I think this game likely isn't very close. Prediction: Denver 35 Seattle - 15 (1-0)
Week 2 - Home opener against the Texans. My inclination is that Denver might struggle early just because of the hype coming off a win in Seattle and the Texans may be getting overlooked coming in, but I think Broncos eventually cruise to a nice victory that is closer that anticipated. Prediction: Denver - 27 Houston - 20 (2-0)
Week 3 - 49ers are in town, I really don't think the Niners are going to be as good as last year and I think this game is a romp by Denver as everything starts clicking. Prediction: Denver - 42 SF - 10 (3-0)
Week 4 - Broncos at Raiders. this game should be pretty exciting. My personnel belief is the Raiders will be going through a lot of adjustments with McDaniels and company coaching, I think it's a close game, But ultimately Denver defense comes up big on this one. Prediction Denver - 28 Las Vegas - 24 (4-0)
Week 5 - Colts come into town, this promises to be a game of wills, can the Colts dominate on the ground and can Denver's defense stop them. Due to it being a Thursday night game and having limited time to prep for a run dominate team, I think this is likely where our first loss of the season happens unfortunately. Prediction Denver - 23 Indy - 28 (4-1)
Week 6 - Denver travels to LA for a showdown with the Chargers. I think we actually beat the Chargers there with the extra days of pre available. I think it's an old fashioned AFC West shootout and barn burner, with Denver getting a game ending FG for the win. Prediction: Denver - 38 LAC - 35 (5-1)
Week 7 - Jets come to Mile High, think this may be somewhat of a trap game, but again I think we win this but maybe a lot uglier than people imagine. Prediction: Denver -17 NYJ - 13 (6-1)
Week 8 - Broncos travel to England to take on Jacksonville, I think this likely might be one of those games we end up losing due to the crazy travel schedule and always seems that we end up losing one of these types of games a year. Ugly contest. Prediction: Denver-18 Jacksonville - 21 (6-2)
Week 9 Bye week where we regroup after a couple of subpar performances getting ready for the playoff push.
Week 10 - Broncos go to Nashville, I think this is really a critical game for the season, I think we end up beating the Titans at their own game with heavy dose of running and ball control offense. Prediction: Denver - 24 Tennessee - 13 (7-2)
Week 11 - Raiders come to Denver looking for some payback. They leave disappointed. I don't think this will be too close. Prediction: Denver - 30 LV - 17 (8-2)
Week 12 - Broncos travel to Carolina with an early start time, never a good thing for Denver. I think this is another ugly game that Denver squeaks by. Prediction: Denver- 20 Carolina -15 (9-2)
Week 13 - Broncos have another road game with early start time on east coast in Baltimore, unfortunately, I think this is likely an ugly lose by Denver. Prediction: Denver - 13 Baltimore - 30 (9-3)
Week 14 - Broncos get the Chiefs in Mile High, I think this is another must win for Denver. This is where the trade really pays off and I think this game likely isn't as close as some predict. Prediction: Denver - 38 KC -24 (10-3)
Week 15 - Cardinals come to Mile High, I think after beating KC and I really don't think the Cardinals are going to be anything special next year, I think Denver cruises to a fairly easy victory. Prediction: Denver -31 Arizona - 14 (11-3)
Week 16 - Broncos travel to LA to face the champs. I again just have a feeling the Rams are likely going to suffer from a SB hangover and not be the same team as last year. I think this is a close game and Denver gets a late TD to win it. Prediction: Denver - 28 LAR - 27 (12-3)
Week 17 - Broncos travel to KC to face our division rivals, I think this will likely be a must win for KC and we likely end up dropping this one. Prediction: Denver - 23 KC - 28 (12-4)
Week 18 - Chargers come back to Mile High, I have a feeling this will be a critical game for both teams, I think the Broncs show up and I think this game clinches the division for us. Prediction Broncos - 30 SD - 28 (13-4)
So I have us with 13 wins and winning the AFC West. I don't think we will get a bye. My prediction for the AFC playoffs will be: Denver - AFC West, Baltimore - AFC North Indy - AFC South Buffalo - AFC East, Wild cards - KC, New England, Cinncy with Buffalo getting No. 1 seed.