Last night, the Denver Broncos 2023 schedule was released and we are now one step closer to the start of the season. Despite their horrendous showing, the NFL schedule makers gave the Broncos four primetime games, including one on Christmas Eve night. They also have a few notable matchups against Nathaniel Hackett and the Jets, Josh Allen in Buffalo and of course against their division rivals.
With that said, I am going to give you the five most interesting games off the Denver Broncos 2023 schedule.
1. Week one, at home vs. the Las Vegas Raiders
A season opener at home against your hated divisional rival? Of course this game makes the list.
You will have hated former head coach Josh McDaniels who is coming off a season where he swept his former team, but this time with his hand picked quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo. The former Patriots and 49ers quarterback reunited with his former offensive coordinator and is now the main man in Vegas.
As for the Broncos, this will be head coach Sean Payton’s debut regular season game with the team. After yet another losing season, coming away with a opening week victory will be crucial for this team, especially against a division rival. The Broncos have struggled against their rivals recently and have not defeated the Raiders since 2019 when they were still the Oakland Raiders.
Coming away with a victory in this one will be crucial for Payton and the Broncos. Losing yet another game to the Raiders, at home, week one, in Payton’s debut would be pretty demoralizing for the fan base and potentially the team.
2. Week Five, at home vs. the New York Jets
In week five, the Denver Broncos host yet another hated former head coach when they face Nathaniel Hackett, and the New York Jets. As we know, Hackett was the head coach of the Broncos last season and it was a disaster that led to him being fired before the end of his first full season with the team. Now, he is the play-caller for the New York Jets and is reunited with quarterback, Aaron Rodgers. The rumored pairing that never happened in Denver, did happen in New York and we shall see how it all plays out. Hackett will be fully amped to get revenge against the team that fired him the day after Christmas and prove that Wilson was the issue, not him.
As for the Broncos, this will be a Russell Wilson revenge game. There is a lot of blame to go around for the failure that happened last season, and Wilson and the Broncos will want to show the world that they are much better off now with Sean Payton running the show.
This will be a fun one and will have a lot of storylines heading into that game. Hopefully, this revenge game goes better for Wilson and the Broncos than it did last year against the Seahawks(Thanks Hackett).
3. Weeks 6 and 8 vs. the Kansas City Chiefs
One of the more interesting observations from this schedule release was the close proximity of the Broncos games with the Chiefs. During week six, they will head to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs on Thursday Night Football. Just 17 days later in week eight, the Broncos play the Chiefs yet again, but this time at home. So, the Broncos will face the defending Super Bowl champs twice in a 17 day span which will be a difficult challenge for them.
As we know, the Broncos have never defeated Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes during his career. They also have not defeated the Chiefs since Bradley Roby scooped up a Jamaal Charles fumble and scored a touchdown. That game happened during week two of the 2015 season. So, it has been quite awhile since we have seen our Broncos defeat the Chiefs.
Now, with Sean Payton leading this team, defeating Mahomes and the Chiefs has to be high on his list of things to accomplish this season. Being swept by the Chiefs and Mahomes yet again will leave a pretty bitter taste in our mouths.
4. Week 10, on the road vs. the Buffalo Bills (Monday Night Football)
Unlike the other three games listed, this game lacks a former head coach and rivalry, but is still one of the more interesting games on the Broncos schedule. This will be the Broncos lone appearance on Monday Night Football and they will have to travel east for this one. On top of that, they will be playing in Buffalo in mid-November at night, so the elements and cold weather could be a factor in this one as well.
The Bills have been amongst the elites in the AFC the past couple seasons and will be a tough test for Payton and the Broncos. They have quarterback Josh Allen who the Broncos passed on during the 2018 NFL Draft and routinely have one of the top offenses in the league. So, the Broncos who hopefully, will be in the postseason conversation at this point will need to prove themselves on the national stage.
It is impossible to predict where the Broncos will be in the standings at this point, but defeating a top AFC team like the Bills would be huge for this team. Again, hopefully the games still matter at this point.
5. Week 16, at home, vs. the New England Patriots on Christmas Eve (Sunday Night Football)
Ho ho ho!
The Broncos will ring in Christmas by hosting Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots on Christmas Eve night. As we are all with our families, a little drunk on eggnog and doing some last minute wrapping, or Broncos will HOPEFULLY be fighting for their postseason lives in this one.
The Patriots, like the Broncos, face long odds of winning their division and likely will be fighting for a wildcard spot to get into the postseason. So, there is a chance that this game could be very important when it comes to seeding for one or both teams.
Like the Bills game, hopefully this game is a meaningful one for the Broncos and goes better than their previous games they had during the Christmas holiday. We do not need a repeat of the game we had to suffer through last year on Christmas night.