3 storylines to look for in 2023 Denver Broncos schedule release

Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos
Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages

With the 2023 NFL schedule release officially set to kick off at 8 pm EST this Thursday, fans and analysts begin to cook up their final predictions for primetime games, opening week matchups, revenge/redemption games, etc. However, for the Denver Broncos, it goes much beyond that for a team that constantly struggled under the brightest lights in their 2022 campaign.

As the anticipation builds closer for Sean Payton's new regime in Denver to discover their new order of opponents in 2023, here are the teams the Broncos will be matching up against at home and away beginning in September:

Bye Week

The very first thing all fans should immediately look for in the moments of the schedule release is the week the Denver Broncos will have a break because this almost always has a direct impact on the momentum prior to their break and afterward as well.

It will obviously be more important come football season due to the fact we have no clue whether or not the team will be heading into the bye week with injuries to the team however, the timing of Denver's bye week will be very crucial to the team's success. In 2022, the team was given a week 9 bye week, which is considered to be one of the best possible circumstances given the fact it is nearly in the dead center of the season and awards the team with a chance to take both a mental and physical break from the first half of the season to prepare for a potential important second-half stretch of football.

However, the 2022 Broncos failed to maintain their momentum from their win against Jacksonville in London prior to the bye week and displayed an embarrassing offensive outing losing to the Tennessee Titans 17-10 the following week. In contrast, the Broncos are now with a much more proven and successful play-caller in Sean Payton and an overall improved roster and coaching staff which should thus capitalize on a generous bye week situation, if awarded to them to again.

While I do not expect another week 9 bye week in consecutive years, it would still be very beneficial if the team was provided a bye week somewhere around the week 7-11 mark to help them recover from any key injuries, recoup as a team, and construct a solidified gameplan for any crucial games with playoff implications down the last stretch of the season. With the AFC talent at an all-time high, the Broncos can use any advantage they can get.

Denver Broncos Divisional Matchups

The timing of Denver's divisional games in 2023 will be extremely vital to the team's chances in the playoffs and the overall seeding of the AFC. Of course, the Broncos need to absolutely need to win as many division games in the AFC West as possible to boost their chances of winning the division or sneaking into the wild card round. However, if the team finds themselves in a sticky spot late in the season while they are in the hunt for the playoffs, playing the Kansas City Chiefs twice may not be the most ideal situation for the team's chances at the postseason.

The Broncos finished with a 1-5 record against AFC West teams in 2022 and their lone win was a 31-28 victory against the Los Angeles Chargers in a meaningless game. I believe the most ideal circumstance for the Broncos in terms of the order they will be matching up against divisional opponents will be having the games relatively spaced out throughout the season. While it may not be realistic, this would be a best-case scenario for the Broncos as they look to make the playoffs for the first time in 8 years.

Primetime Games

As the Broncos were awarded five primetime games in 2022 and had seven nationally televised, it is probably a safe bet to predict that the team will have a few fewer in 2023, even with the hire of new commodity Sean Payton.

The Broncos continuously failed to perform under the brightest lights on national television and thus had the NFL receiving endless criticism from fans of the decision to select these games for primetime. As of now, I expect there to be 3 primetime games for the team in 2023, and where these games will be placed on Denver's schedule will not be too important, but more so for the entertainment of the fans.

Whether the Broncos win on primetime or not will be not as important as winning their divisional matchups however, if they are able to bounce back from last year's nationally televised performances and win when the entire world is watching, I believe that is actually a great sign that the team can compete on the biggest stage in the playoffs (depending on the opponent). While we're not sure the Broncos will absolutely make the playoffs with Russell Wilson and Sean Payton just yet, if Denver's young talent is able to step up and show the world that the 2023 Denver Broncos are a bigger contender than most thought, this will completely boost the confidence of the team and hopefully carry throughout the remainder of the regular season and even postseason.

Next. Denver Broncos 53-man roster prediction post-Draft. dark