The NFL released the Denver Broncos’ 2013 regular season schedule Thursday night. The team opens at home against the Super Bowl-champion Baltimore Ravens on Thursday, Sept. 5 in primetime. The Broncos have four other primetime contests, which ties them for the second most primetime games in team history (they had six in 2006).
This will be the third consecutive season that the Broncos open at home.
“It is a tremendous honor for the Denver Broncos, our fans and the entire Rocky Mountain Region to host the NFL’s Kickoff Game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High,” Owner & CEO Pat Bowlen said. “This prestigious game has become one of the league’s most celebrated traditions, and we are thrilled to play in it for the first time in our history.
“Opening the NFL season on a national stage against our playoff opponent from the previous year, the Super Bowl-champion Baltimore Ravens, will be a challenge for our team and very exciting for our fans.”
The Broncos’ first road game comes when the team travels to MetLife Stadium to play the New York Giants in week 2.
Week 3 will be just as exciting when the Broncos make their 66th all-time appearance on Monday Night Football. They host the Oakland Raiders for the first divisional matchup of the season. This will be the 22nd straight seasons that the Broncos appear on MNF, which is the NFL’s longest active streak.
A home contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars precedes a visit to Indianapolis where the Broncos will take on the Colts on Sunday Night Football on October 20. It will be Peyton Manning’s first trip back to the city he called home for his first 14 NFL seasons.
Before their bye in week 9, the Broncos will host Mike Shanahan and the Washington Redskins.
With the entire NFC East in the books before their bye week, that’s when things really get cranking in the AFC West. The Broncos will visit the San Diego Chargers in week 10 and then throw out the welcome mat to the Kansas City Chiefs in week 11.
After that, it’s back to primetime for the team’s second Sunday Night Football contest of the season when the Broncos travel to New England to play the Patriots.
The Broncos will play the Chiefs twice in a three-week span when they travel to Kansas City for a December 1 game.
To close out the regular season at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, the Broncos will host the Tennessee Titans and the San Diego Chargers in week 14 and week 15, respectively. The game against the Chargers will be nationally televised on the NFL Network for Thursday Night Football.
The final game of the regular season comes in Oakland, which is the first time that the Broncos close out on the road since 2008.
Overall, the Broncos have five games against opponents that qualified for the playoffs last year and against four opponents that won their respective divisions. The Broncos’ opponents had a combined record of 110-146 (.430) in 2012 for the lowest winning percentage in the league. Don’t read too much into that, however. The Broncos’ 2012 schedule was the second toughest in the NFL and they finished 13-3.
The Broncos could get a sixth nationally televised game in 2013 because of the NFLs flexible scheduling plan, which allows game times to change on Sundays from Weeks 11-17.
Get your calendars to plan your schedule around the Broncos’ schedule.