Week 11: vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings were on complete opposite ends of the spectrum last year as it relates to their ability to win one-score games. In the 2022 season, the Broncos lost 10 games by one score or less.
The Vikings lost just one out of 12 such opportunities, but unfortunately for them, the one loss in a one-score game came at the worst possible time: the NFL playoffs. I don't know that the Vikings are truly as great of a team as we saw last season in terms of their win-loss record.
This, in all reality, is more likely a 7-9 win team, and there's nothing wrong with that. But this is the type of opponent -- at home -- the Denver Broncos should be able to take care of.
Prediction: Broncos win 23-20; (7-3)
Week 12: vs. Cleveland Browns
The Denver Broncos have historically had the Cleveland Browns' number, with a record of 24-7 against Cleveland in the regular season. That, of course, includes John Elway's playoff heroics in the 1980s, as well.
The last time these two teams played was one of the ugliest games in recent Denver Broncos memory, a Thursday Night Football matchup in 2021 with virtually no offense to speak of outside of Browns running back D'Ernest Johnson. It was that kind of game. Now, we're talking about a potential matchup between Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson with two teams who expect to be exponentially better offensively in 2023 than they were last season.
I think the Broncos can win this game at home and frankly, they have to win this game at home, even if the matchup is a bit of a toss-up on paper.
Prediction: Broncos win 31-20; (8-3)