Denver Broncos | News

Five prime-time games and a host of compelling matchups and quirks highlight Broncos' 2016 schedule

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --We've known the who and the where of the Broncos' 2016 slate for some time. Now we know the when.

With five prime-time games beginning with the first Week 1 Super Bowl rematch since 1970, the Broncos' 57th season has a schedule that drips with intrigue.

The home slate is strong; only one losing team from 2015 comes to Denver, and that club, the Chargers, pushed the Broncos to the limit in the regular-season finale despite playing with a roster depleted by injuries.

A game-by-game look at the 2016 schedule ....

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DATE:Thu., Sep. 8
TIME:6:30 p.m. MDT
VENUE:Sports Authority Field at Mile High
TV:NBC

NOTES:This will mark the first time since 1970 that the two teams that met in the previous season's Super Bowl duel in a Week 1 rematch. The Vikings won that duel, beating their Super Bowl IV conquerors from Kansas City 27-10 at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minn. ... An adjustment in inter-conference scheduling means this will be the Panthers' first trip to Denver in a dozen years. Because the league adjusted the teams faced in interdivisional games to minimize cross-country trips in a given season, the Broncos have traveled to Carolina twice (2008, 2012) since the Panthers' last game in Denver ... This will be the Broncos' fifth consecutive Week 1 game at home; they are 4-1 in those games with a current four-game winning streak ... Since the NFL began having the defending Super Bowl champion host the Kickoff Game when logistics permitted, the home team is 11-1.

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DATE:Sun., Sep. 18
TIME:2:25 p.m. MDT
VENUE:Sports Authority Field at Mile High
TV:CBS

NOTES:For the second time in three years, the Broncos will host the Colts in September. They met in Week 1 of 2014 ... This will be the first Broncos-Colts game in 23 years that does not involve Peyton Manning. Manning played for the Colts in 10 games (including postseason) against Denver from 1998 through 2010 and four more in the last four seasons ... The Broncos have lost 11 of their last 14 games to the Colts and are 12-13 overall against them, but Denver has a 7-4 advantage (including playoffs) all-time at home.

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DATE:Sun., Sep. 25
TIME:11 a.m. MDT
VENUE:Paul Brown Stadium
TV:CBS

NOTES:After playing two consecutive years in Week 16 on Monday Night Football, the Broncos get their duel with the perennial playoff participants out of the way early ... Denver is 3-3 all-time at Paul Brown Stadium, and the games there have been flooded with spectacular performances, including Corey Dillon's then-league-rushing record performance in 2000, Brandon Stokely's game-winning catch-and-run on the tip drill in 2009, Trindon Holliday's kickoff return in 2012 and Dre' Kirkpatrick's two fourth-quarter interceptions in 2014.

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DATE:Sun., Oct. 2
TIME:2:05 p.m. MDT
VENUE:Raymond James Stadium
TV:CBS

NOTES:The inter-conference schedule reshuffling means that this will be the Broncos' first game in Tampa since 2004, which marked John Lynch's emotional return to the city in which he played the first 11 years of his stellar career ... The Broncos are 6-2 all-time against the Bucs, including 2-1 in Tampa ... At one point, the Broncos went 18 years between trips to west central Florida; after a 1981 game there, the Broncos did not visit again until 1999, although the teams did play a preseason game at Tampa Stadium in 1993, which marked John Elway's only game as a player there ... New Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter interviewed for the Broncos' head-coaching position when it opened in 2011 ... Trent Dilfer (1996, 1999) is the only quarterback to make two starts for the Bucs against the Broncos. Jameis Winston could change that; for now, he is projected to play the Broncos for the first time.

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DATE:Sun., Oct. 9
TIME:2:05 p.m. MDT
VENUE:Sports Authority Field at Mile High
TV:FOX

NOTES:How long ago was the Falcons' last trip to Denver? Michael Vick was their starting quarterback, Jim Mora was their head coach and 2004 second-round pick Darius Watts had the only touchdown of his brief career in a 41-28 Broncos loss ... Four of the six games in the series in Denver were decided by at least 13 points ... The teams have split the last four games in the series, including the Falcons' 27-21 win at the Georgia Dome on Monday Night Football in 2012.

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DATE:Thu., Oct. 13
TIME:6:25 p.m. MDT
VENUE:Qualcomm Stadium
TV:CBS/NFLN/Twitter

NOTES:This will be the ninth time in the last 11 seasons and fourth in the last five in which the teams have played a prime-time game ... Six of the last 10 Broncos-Chargers games in Qualcomm Stadium have been in prime time, but this will be the first one on Thursday night ... The Broncos will look to extend their recent mastery of the Chargers in Mission Valley; Denver has won five consecutive games there and has held the Chargers to fewer than 20 points in four of them ... The Broncos are 6-1 against former offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who enters his fourth season as Chargers head coach ... If this ends up being the "Color Rush" game, a light-blue Chargers ensemble and an all-orange Broncos look would create a uniform duel that evokes memories of Harry Dunne and Lloyd Christmas in their tuxedoes in Dumb and Dumber.

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DATE:Mon., Oct. 24
TIME:6:30 p.m. MDT
VENUE:Sports Authority Field at Mile High
TV:ESPN

NOTES:The Broncos' only Monday Night Football appearance of 2016 is a delicious one, against former quarterback Brock Osweiler and the Texans ... It will also be the first game for Head Coach Gary Kubiak and Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips since their tenures in Houston ended during and after the 2013 season ... Osweiler will become the first former Broncos quarterback to start against his old team since Kyle Orton did so for the Bills in 2014 ... The Broncos are 3-2 all-time against the Texans, including 2-1 in Denver ... This will mark the 24th consecutive season in which the Broncos have played on MNF; it is the longest active streak in the NFL.

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DATE:Sun., Oct. 30
TIME:2:25 p.m. MDT
VENUE:Sports Authority Field at Mile High
TV:CBS

NOTES:The Broncos will complete their season series against the Chargers early -- a week before their first game against Oakland and nearly a month before they see the Chiefs for the first time in 2016 ... The last time the Broncos completed their season series against the Chargers before November was in 1994; that year ended in a split ... This is also the first time that a season series against an AFC West rival has ended before November since the Broncos and the Chiefs concluded their 1996 home-and-home series on Oct. 27 of that year.

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DATE:Sun., Nov. 6
TIME:6:30 p.m. MST
VENUE:Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
TV:NBC

NOTES:You always expect a raucous crowd in Oakland. But this one will be special for the Raiders and their fans, because they have not hosted a Sunday Night Football game since NBC assumed the contract in 2006. In fact, the Raiders' only SNF game on NBC was in 2006 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High; Denver won, 13-3 ... The Broncos are looking for their sixth consecutive win in Oakland ... Denver allowed just one touchdown and 25 total points to the Raiders in two games last year, but scored just 28 points and had no offensive touchdowns in those games.

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DATE:Sun., Nov. 13
TIME:11 a.m. MST
VENUE:Mercedes-Benz Superdome
TV:CBS

NOTES:This wraps up the second of three two-game road swings on the schedule this year ... This is the Broncos' first trip to the Superdome since 2004, and their first road game against a Drew Brees-led team since Dec. 31, 2005, when he played his final game as a Charger ... The Broncos are 3-1 all-time against the Saints in New Orleans, and scored 72 points in their last two wins, which came by a combined 36 points.

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DATE:Sun., Nov 27
TIME:2:25 p.m. MST
VENUE:Sports Authority Field at Mile High
TV:CBS

NOTES:Last year, the Broncos faced Andy Reid and the Chiefs after a bye, and lost, becoming the 15th team in 17 games to fall to Reid-led clubs after a week off. This year, it's the Broncos' turn to test their post-bye prowess against the Chiefs. Denver is 21-6 all-time after the bye and has won six in a row and 11 of the last 13, including last year's 29-10 dismantling of the previously undefeated Packers on Sunday Night FootbalL ... The Broncos are 15-3 all-time at home after byes.

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DATE:Sun., Dec. 4
TIME:11 a.m. MST
VENUE:EverBank Field
TV:CBS

NOTES:ILB Brandon Marshall will have this game circled; the Jaguars drafted in him in 2012 but let him go at the end of the preseason the following year, setting the stage for him to join the Broncos and grow into one of the game's best inside linebackers ... This will be the Broncos' first game against former standouts Julius Thomas and Malik Jackson, both of whom signed big-money contracts in the last two years of free agency. It is also likely to be their first game against Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, a first-round pick in 2014 ... Denver has not visited northeast Florida since the opening game of the 2010 season, a 24-17 loss ... The Broncos are 1-3 all-time in Jacksonville; their only win came on Oct. 2, 2005, a 20-7 triumph over a team that would eventually finish with a 12-4 mark.

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DATE:Sun., Dec. 11
TIME:11 a.m. MST
VENUE:Nissan Stadium
TV:CBS

NOTES:This will be the Broncos' fourth trip to Nissan Stadium, and first since Week 3 of the 2011 campaign ... Denver is 2-1 in Tennessee, with wins in 2004 and 2010 ... This is only the Broncos' sixth game against the Titans since the franchise relocated from Houston in 1997; the Broncos are 4-1 against them ... Marcus Mariota is projected to become the sixth different quarterback to start against the Broncos in the last seven games in the series, dating back to the Houston Oilers days.

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DATE:Sun., Dec. 18
TIME:2:25 p.m. MST
VENUE:Sports Authority Field at Mile High
TV:CBS

NOTES:After a spate of trips to Foxborough, Mass., the Broncos will host the Patriots for the second consecutive time in the regular season and third overall, including the 2015 AFC Championship Game ... The Patriots will also visit Denver in 2017, when the Broncos play the entire AFC East again ... Including the postseason, the Broncos are 7-2 against Brady-led teams in Denver, and have won six of the last seven.

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DATE:Sun., Dec. 25
TIME:6:30 p.m. MST
VENUE:Arrowhead Stadium
TV:NBC

NOTES:The third consecutive prime-time game between the clubs at Arrowhead Stadium ... This is the Broncos' third Christmas Day game, and their first since 2004, when they throttled the Titans 37-16 ... Denver has won both of its previous Christmas games; both were on the road ... As is typically the case when Christmas falls on a Sunday, most of the league will play its games on Saturday afternoon … There is plenty of history for the Chiefs on Christmas; they played the most memorable game on the day in NFL history, the 27-24 double-overtime, divisional-round loss to the Dolphins in 1971 that remains the longest game ever played.

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DATE:Sun., Jan. 1, 2017
TIME:2:25 p.m. MST
VENUE:Sports Authority Field at Mile High
TV:CBS

NOTES:For the third time in the last four seasons, the Broncos will close their regular season against the Raiders ... This is the ninth consecutive season in which the Broncos will complete their regular-season schedule with an AFC West foe. In 2010 the league adjusted its scheduling policies to ensure that all teams closed with division opponents ... The Broncos are 8-7 against the Raiders at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, but the Raiders have won five of their last eight games in Denver ... The game will come 39 years to the day after the Broncos' 20-17 AFC Championship Game win over the Raiders to send them to Super Bowl XII ... The Broncos hope to reverse their form in January regular-season games; they are 2-7 all-time in that scenario.

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