Usually the middle part of the season feels the longest. The enthusiasm at practice drops, each city feels the same, and guys on the roster spend more time with each other than their families. This fact doesn’t sit well with the Broncos for the 2009 season. They start off with a mild dose of Cincinnati, Cleveland and Oakland in September, but then move on to a challenge that only the Carolina Panthers would envy. The Broncos play eight consecutive games against teams that had winning records last year. If I told you that stretch starts with Dallas and ends with the Giants on Thanksgiving, I wouldn’t blame you for grabbing another cold one. During that time period, the league handed them games against New England, San Diego, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Washington and another one against the San Diego. The Broncos can cope with their hangover by resting at the beginning of December (bye week). After that, it’s Kansas City twice, Indianapolis, Oakland, and Philadelphia.
It’s going to be a long season for this young/new Broncos team. Josh McDaniels has a lot of ties to his opponents (e.g. Matt Cassel, Bill Belichick, Eric Mangini), so hopefully he knows how to prepare for them. As the drama continues to die down, and players get back to work at Dove Valley, only time will tell what this season will bring to a city already at the edge of its chair.