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Denver Broncos' 2016 schedule not short on notable nuggets

Ken Pomponio Avatar
April 15, 2016


We’ve known about the “whos” and “wheres” for a while now.

This evening, the NFL filled in the “whens” as the Denver Broncos’ 2016 regular-season schedule was officially unveiled.

Here are a few noteworthy facts and figures concerning the defending Super Bowl champs’ 17-week itinerary:

Thur. Sept. 8: vs. Carolina Panthers, 6:30 p.m.  MT (NBC)

Notable: So we’re right back where we finished with Cam Newton and Co., squaring off with Von Miller and friends. The good news for the home team is that defending champions are 12-2 in their last 14 regular-season openers, with the 2013 Broncos accounting for one of the exceptions with their 49-27 trouncing of the visiting Ravens three years ago.

Sept. 18: vs. Indianapolis Colts, 2:25 p.m.  MT (CBS)

Notable: The Horseshoes are one team the Broncos haven’t fared well against of late, dropping six of the last seven meetings with the only win coming in the 2014 season opener.

Sept. 25: vs. at Cincinnati Bengals, 11 a.m.  MT (CBS)

Notable: A trip to Cincy serves as the defending champs’ first road test, and it’s the first of four slated 11 a.m. starts as well.

Oct. 2: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2:05 p.m.  MT (CBS)

Notable: Denver is 6-2 all-time against the Bucs, who actually played their inaugural 1976 season as a one-year member of the AFC West. Geography obviously wasn’t as important back then.

Oct. 9: vs. Atlanta Falcons, 2:05 p.m.  MT (FOX)

Notable: Denver enters the season having won nine straight and 15 of its last 17 home contests against NFC visitors. The last loss was a 45-10 drubbing at the paws of the Lions, of all teams, in Week 8 of the 2011 season.

Oct. 13: at San Diego Chargers, 6:25 p.m.  MT (CBS, NFL Network)

Notable: Yikes, a quick turnaround for the Orange & Blue to play on the road in their AFC West opener. That will put the Broncos’ NFL-record 15-game division road win streak to the test.

Oct. 24: vs. Houston Texans, 6:30 p.m.  MT (ESPN)

Notable: The Broncos didn’t get a shot at Brock Osweiler in the season opener, but the Monday night stage – Denver’s lone MNF appearance of the season – will certainly serve as a fitting showcase. Denver is just 3-5 in its last eight MNF appearances, but has won three of the last four.

Oct. 30: vs. San Diego Chargers, 4:05 p.m.  MT (CBS)

Notable: In the first real quirk of the schedule, the Broncos will wrap up their home-and-home series with the Bolts before tangling with either the Raiders or Chiefs.

Nov. 6: at Oakland Raiders, 6:30 p.m.  MT (NBC)

Notable: Speaking of the Raiders, the first meeting will be a Sunday-night showdown in the Black Hole. The Broncos are a sterling 18-4 in their last 22 regular-season prime-time appearances, but three of the setbacks have come on the road.

Nov. 13: at New Orleans Saints, 11 a.m.  MT (CBS)

Notable: It’ll be an early start in the Big Easy, but Drew Brees hasn’t exactly had it easy against the Orange & Blue, winning only two of his nine head-to-head meetings, including a 0-2 mark while with the Saints.

Nov. 20: Bye week

Notable: The Broncos catch a good break here, drawing the latest possible bye week of the season.

Nov. 27: vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 4:25 p.m.  MT (CBS)

Notable: It’s said that the intensity level kicks up a notch or two after Thanksgiving, and that should make for an interesting series with K.C. as both matchups fall within the season’s final six-week stretch.

Dec. 4: at Jacksonville Jaguars, 11 a.m.  MT (CBS)

Notable: It’ll be quite the reunion Sunday in J’ville as the Broncos hook up with much-wealthier former pals Malik Jackson and Julius Thomas.

Dec. 11: at Tennessee Titans, 11 a.m.  MT (CBS)

Notable: This makes back-to-back early kickoffs against two of the AFC South lesser lights, but the Broncos certainly can’t circle a victory in either locale. In Nashville, the Titans promise to field a young and talented bunch with Marcus Mariota at the helm and the haul of draft choices they received from the Rams in exchange for the No. 1 overall pick.

Dec. 18: vs. New England Patriots, 2:25 p.m.  MT (CBS)

Notable: Another year, another late-season showdown the Hoodie and Brady. The latter, of course, is only 2-7 all-time in the Mile High City with losses in six of his last seven – the latest being last year’s AFC title tilt.

Dec. 25: at Kansas City Chiefs, 6:30 p.m.  MT (NBC)

Notable: Ah, Christmas at Arrowhead. It will be one of two scheduled NFL games that day, and the Broncos boast a 2-0 all-time record on Christmas while the Chiefs are 1-1. More relevant, though, Denver has won five straight in K.C. – its longest road win streak in the history of the storied series.

Jan. 1: vs. Oakland Raiders, 2:25 p.m.  MT (CBS)

Notable: Denver closes out the regular season with an AFC West home game for the seventh time in the last eight seasons, and it happens to fall on the 39th anniversary of the Broncos’ memorable 20-17 win over the Silver & Black in the 1977 season AFC title game, clinching the franchise’s first Super Bowl appearance.

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