5 must-win games that will define Bo Nix's rookie season with Broncos

The 2024 Schedule will be here before we know it and unfortunately these will be the games to define Nix's rookie season for better or worse
Denver Broncos Rookie Minicamp
Denver Broncos Rookie Minicamp / Matthew Stockman/GettyImages

Denver Broncos rookie quarterback Bo Nix will undoubtedly have his ups and downs in his first NFL season. Transitioning from college to the NFL is never an easy task for any position let alone the quarterback. With the schedule now officially released, what games could define Nix's rookie season?

Out of the 17 regular season games, there are five that I've selected as must-win games. Will this determine who Bo Nix will be for his career? No. But, it will move the needle for his coaches, teammates, and fans during his rookie season. Let's take a closer look at each of the five games that could define him in 2024.

5. Chiefs (in Denver, Week 18)

The Chiefs at home lead the list. The 2023 team managed to accomplish this last year so rolling out in 2024, and this will be a must-win game for multiple reasons. They're an in-division rival. They've notoriously won against the Broncos since the Mahomes era began back in 2017/18. It's been rough, to say the least. So, beating the Chiefs at home is not only a moral victory for everyone involved but could propel the team at the end of the season as well. Any time you can knock off a back-to-back Super Bowl championship team, that's a win no matter how you slice it.

4/3. Raiders (in Denver, Week 5; in Las Vegas, Week 12)

The Raiders are still somehow carrying an eight-game win streak against the Broncos. With the talent they have on their team and potentially rolling out Gardner Minshew as their starter, not only stopping the streak but also adding two more in-division wins would be a very welcomed outcome. There were rumors that the Raiders also had some interest in Nix as well, so having him beat them twice during his rookie season could just be a cherry on top. 

2. Jets (in New York, Week 4)

The Jets on the road all but speaks for itself. There are multiple connections to both of these teams since 2021. From Aaron Rodgers reportedly coming to Denver to join his coach (Nathaniel Hackett) to eventually joining said coach in New York after his firing from a disastrous coaching job here in 2022. Add in the comments Payton said this past season about the Jets, and then watching them walk into Mile High and beat the Broncos on a late-game fumble by Russell Wilson. Yeah, having Nix go into Met Life Stadium and leave with a win over this team would probably take the cake for #1 if it wasn't for the final game on this list.

1. Steelers (in Denver, Week 2)

Finally, game five. You already know what it is. The Russell Wilson led Pittsburgh Steelers coming to Mile High. This is a must-win. Period. Not only would this spark a major fire in the locker room but it would do so much for the confidence of everyone in the Broncos organization. Wilson was a massive fumble from top to bottom so having your new rookie quarterback potentially walk onto the field for his home opener, in your new uniform, and to beat Wilson's new team in week two? Talk about a full-blown freight train of positive vibes going into week three and beyond.

The Denver Broncos ultimately need to focus on the team as a whole. Winning as many games as possible should be the #1 priority. These five games should have a more emotional level attached to them. We are human after all so defeating your opponents, especially ones that you have connections with, always seems to be a little sweeter than normal.