Since the start of the new year, the Denver Broncos’ 2023 opponents have been set.
But it’s taken five months for the schedule makers at the NFL’s office to put together the order and assess how many primetime games each team will have.
That wait ended on May 18 with the NFL officially unveiling the Broncos’ 2023 schedule.
What game are you most looking forward to out of the 17?
The DNVR Broncos Crew gives their take.
What Broncos game are you most looking forward to this year?
Zac: Week 8 vs. the Chiefs — Wait, what? The Chiefs not only have a 15-game winning streak against the Broncos, but they are also the defending Super Bowl Champs. Why is this the game I’m most looking forward to?
Because it’s the ultimate test for Sean Payton, Russell Wilson and the Broncos. And it’s the home game against the Chiefs.
Since Peyton Manning retired, the AFC West has run through Kansas City with relative ease. For the Broncos to compete for the division title and Super Bowls again, they’ll have to prove they can keep up with the Chiefs.
In the team’s final meeting last year, while Denver didn’t win, they were extremely competitive against the Chiefs in Kansas City. That was with an interim head coach and their third play caller of the season. That gave hope that coaching could be that important to this team. Will Sean Payton be enough of a boost to beat the Chiefs, especially in Denver? That’s why I’m most excited for the Week 8 matchup.
RK: Week 1 vs. the Raiders — I’d love to get cute here and pick something else but every time I tried to come up with a reason to pick another game, it felt disengenous.
The entire country, especially Broncos Country, is in show-me mode with the Denver Broncos. No amount of preseason hype, no practice report, heck not even the hire of Sean Payton is enough to get people to buy Broncos stock. This Week 1 bout against a not-very-good Raiders team will be their first real opportunity to start earn believers.
I’ve always believed Week 1 in the NFL means a lot. You’ve probably heard my say before that I believew Denver fumbling away their Week-1 meeting with the Seahawks last season changed the direction of the entire year. The Broncos need to get the Payton Era off to a better start. Can’t wait to see if they can.
Hank: Week 1 vs. the Raiders — A home game against the Raiders will always be a top candidate for my most-exciting game of the year. Since the Raiders are coming to Denver in Week 1, it’s a lock for the top spot.
If you’re reading this, you know the history, so I won’t dig too deep. Both teams’ recent lack of success has made removed some of the fire from the matchup, but it’s still the strongest rivalry in Denver sports. The Broncos have a chance to end a six-game losing streak.
Plus, this will be the first game of the Sean Payton era. The season-opener is always exciting, but bringing in a Hall of Fame coach and the league’s most expensive free-agent class amplifies the effects.
A couple of other games made my shortlist…
- The regular-season finale in Vegas. The rivalry aspect is still in play, but more could be on the line, like the first postseason berth since 2015 for the Broncos. Plus, there’s a chance the Broncos could blow out the Raiders in Week 18 and force Mark Davis to fire Josh McDaniels after the game.
- The Thursday Night Football game against the Bills is tempting, too. The Broncos will be coming off a bye and have a chance to make a statement on national TV (or is it national internet?). The problem is my lack of faith in Denver in that game.
- Call me a sicko, but I’m amped up for the first preseason game, which will come in early August against the Cardinals. The offseason is too long and I want to see the boys on the field, even if the starters are only out there for a series or two. (Call me even more of a sicko, but sometimes seeing the bottom-of-the-roster guys—this year, running backs Jahleel McLaughlin and Emanuel Wilson, and wide receivers Dallas Daniels and Taylor Grimes—can be more exciting anyway.)