5 most intriguing games on the Denver Broncos' 2023 schedule

Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos
Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages
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#4- Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots, Week 16

It may not seem believable, but when the Denver Broncos kick off against the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football on Christmas Eve, over three years will have passed since the last meeting between the two teams. The last time these two teams met up, Cam Newton was under center in the franchise's first season without the legendary Tom Brady.

The Broncos won that contest 18-12 without even scoring a touchdown, instead relying on the reliable leg of Brandon McManus to carry the team to victory. New England used Nick Folk in a likewise manner, though Cam Newton was able to punch the ball in for the only touchdown of the day.

One thing that is intriguing about this matchup is that this will be the Denver Broncos' first time facing off against the young quarterback, Mac Jones. It seems strange to think about, as it felt that the Broncos and Patriots developed a fairly strong rivalry within the last decade and some change, but it is also worth being said that most of the "rivalry" had nothing to do with the franchises themselves, but the men under center for each team--Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Broncos fans may argue that the rivalry has always existed, which is true to a point, as Broncos Country may carry a lifelong disdain for Tom Brady and the Patriots, but it did not become a truly competitive rivalry until Peyton Manning's arrival to Denver, in which the Broncos found themselves finally in position to take down the historic dynasty.

Finishing 8-9 in 2022, the Patriots also find themselves looking to shake the dust off from last season and to make another run back at the postseason. Depending on where each team sits in the respective playoff race, by Week 16, if the Broncos have once again not been able to surpass the Chiefs, this could be a matchup with big Wild Card implications.