Even before the 2013 NFL schedule was released on Thursday, there was a lot of interest around the Denver Broncos and many of their games, given the known opponents. Much of this attention was centered around non-AFC West teams due to the natural storylines that have developed recently and continue in 2013. These storylines make many of these games must see games. Realizing that the contests against the Baltimore Ravens, the New York Giants, the Indianapolis Colts, and the New England Patriots, to name a few are exciting, fans must not over look the AFC West and the task the Broncos have before them. Continue reading for my thoughts about the games featuring AFC West opponents.
Oakland Raiders: The Broncos welcome the Oakland Raiders to Mile High Stadium in week three of the 2013 season. The Broncos third game of the season will also be the Broncos third night game, as well as their third nationally televised game. Following games against the Ravens and the Giants, the Broncos open divisional play against their bitter rival from northern California. After this week three battle, the Broncos will not face another AFC West team until week ten when they travel to San Diego. The Broncos will close out the 2013 season when they visit the Raiders in week 17.
San Diego Chargers: Following a bye week, the Broncos start the second half of the season that features five out of eight games against AFC West teams. The first of these five games is on the road against the San Diego Chargers. Without knowing what will transpire in the first half of the season, one intriguing preseason story line behind this game is the Chargers head coach Mike McCoy and his first crack at his old team. Weather will not be a factor in this game, which is typical for southern California, but that not be the case in week 15; the Chargers travel to Denver in early December for a Thursday night contest. The Thursday night game will close out the Broncos regular season home schedule.
Kansas City Chiefs: In a very strange scenario, the Broncos two games against the Chiefs in 2013 will occur in a three week period. The three week period starts in week 11 when Kansas City visits Denver and comes to an end two weeks later when the Broncos head east to the ‘friendly’ confines of Arrowhead Stadium. In between the games against the Chiefs? A Bronco road trip to New England to face the Patriots on Sunday Night Football. The Broncos must not overlook the Chiefs and look ahead to the Patriots. It seems odd to play a team twice in three weeks, but I am sure this will help somewhat as the coaches prepare the game plans for the Chiefs.
The regular NFL season is a stepping stone to the playoffs, which serve as a stepping stone to the ultimate goal – the Super Bowl. To reach success at any one of those points, a team HAS to win at home and they must win their divisional games! The Broncos divisional opponents have all made changes over the offseason but so have the Broncos! As always, it will be exciting to see how the Broncos compete in the six games against Oakland, San Diego, and Kansas City. If the Broncos want to win another Lombardi trophy, it is imperative they dominate the AFC West!