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Broncos Roundtable: What's Denver's most important game in 2022?

Zac Stevens Avatar
May 23, 2022

The Russell Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett era officially gets underway on Sept. 12 at 6:15 PM MT in front of the entire country when Russ makes his return to Seattle.

What a way for the Denver Broncos to kickoff their highly-anticipated season.

Over the course of the entire season, Denver will play a league-high five primetime games, take their talents overseas to London and will spend Christmas in Los Angeles facing off against the Rams.

For the first time since the Peyton Manning era, the Broncos are now must-see television for the entire nation.

But which of their 17 games is the most important?

The DNVR Broncos Crew breaks it down.

What is the Broncos’ most important game this year?

Zac: Week 14 vs Chiefs on Sunday Night Football — If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.

Nathaniel Hackett hasn’t shied away for his team’s goal this year — Win the West. Those three simple words have been printed on shirts, pasted around the facility and preached by players and coaches.

In order to win the west, Denver will have to overtake Kansas City. Their best chance of that is by taking them down.

By now, everybody knows about the 13-straight losses the Broncos have endured to the Chiefs.

Wilson and Hackett will have to wait 14 weeks into the season to have their first crack at beating the six-time defending AFC West champs.

This game is by far the most important game on the schedule for a number of reasons.

First, Wilson and Hackett will have an opportunity to show that they can hang with the best in the west of Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid.

Second, this will be Denver’s fifth and final primetime game of the season — barring a game later in the season being flexed. This will be the Broncos’ final opportunity to show the country they are a contender, at least their last opportunity to do so in the regular season.

Third, if the Broncos can’t beat the Chiefs at home, they’ll have significantly less chance of beating them on the road three weeks later.

And, finally, this game will set the tone for the final month of the season as the team makes a playoff push, which includes a brutal stretch against the Cardinals, Rams, Chargers and one more against the Chiefs.

Win this game, and the Broncos aren’t just back — and will have the national recognition about it too — but they’ll legitimately be contenders to win the best division in football, and thus will be serious Super Bowl contenders.

However, if Denver loses this game, despite how good their record is up to this point, they will still be a step behind Kansas City and thus a step behind their goals.


Henry: Week 14 vs Chiefs on Sunday Night Football — I know this is a lame answer but… Zac is right; the Sunday Night Football game against the Chiefs is the most important game of the season and it’s not particularly close. I wish I could make the case for another game but I just can’t.

The Broncos have lost 13 in a row to the Chiefs. Think about that number. It’s been more than six years since the Broncos have beaten the Chiefs and that streak will extend past seven years by the time the next matchup comes around. Denver is within 3 1/2 years of the longest losing streak in NFL history.

Since winning Super Bowl 50, the Broncos have played their worst stretch of football in a handful of decades and their performance against the Chiefs has been the driving force. Of all their losses in the past five seasons, 20% have been at the hands of Kansas City. One in five. Flip those around and we’d be living in a different world of Broncos fandom.

While Broncos Country has approached every matchup with Patrick Mahomes (or Chad Henne) like a funeral, the vibe may be a little different this time around. Russell Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett, the two most important leaders on the team, haven’t been a part of this losing streak. They haven’t experienced the pain of 13 consecutive losses. In fact, they probably had no idea the team’s performance against Kansas City has been this poor.

It’s a new era.

If this is to be an era of Bronco dominance in the AFC West, they’ll have to get over the hump with the Chiefs. The first matchup will set the tone. It’s the most important game of the season and it’s the most important game since Super Bowl 50.


RK: Week 1 @ Seattle — Week 1 is always a little wonky. Teams are still figuring out who they are, the weather is warmer and the crowds are rowdy because everyone still has hope.

While of course they will be heavy favorites in this one, it’s extremely important for them to come out prepared and take care of business. We already know About the insane stretch Denver has to finish the season, but they also have two pretty tough games out of their first four. If they can’t get it done in Seattle, they are staring down the potential of stumbling out of the gates, which is something they simply can’t afford.

Additionally, it’s important for Nathaniel Hackett and Russell Wilson to show a national audience that things have changed for the Denver Broncos. There are already plenty of doubters out there, lose to Drew Lock in Week 1 and they are going to grow exponentially.

The Broncos should take care of business in this one, but they really need to.




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