Week 13: @ Houston Texans
The Houston Texans had one of the best offseasons of any team in the NFL, and it had very little to do with the fact that they really brought in a ton of former Denver Broncos...again. The Texans went out in the 2023 NFL Draft and landed both CJ Stroud and Will Anderson Jr., trading up almost 10 spots to make that draft duo happen.
Nick Caserio has established a pretty strong foundation now as GM of the team, especially when you consider the mess he inherited, a mess left behind by Bill O'Brien. As much as I like the Texans' offseason and what they've done, you better believe this Sean Payton-coached team will be expected to go in and get the better of a rookie quarterback.
I think this is a road game and AFC matchup the Broncos need to make sure they don't screw up.
Prediction: Broncos win 27-17; (9-3)
Week 14: @ Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herebert has never won in Denver. Likewise, the Broncos have never gotten the best of Herbert in Los Angeles, although they came quite close last season. The Broncos slowly squandered a 10-0 lead over the Chargers on Monday Night Football last season, a game culminating in a very frustrating overtime loss for Denver.
Although the typical order of things is for the Broncos to split with the Los Angeles Chargers, and although a split with every divisional opponent is a fine prediction for the team to start the year, perhaps this will be the year in which the Broncos can sweep the Chargers again.
Then again, the safe bet is the split.
Prediction: Chargers win 24-17; (9-4)