ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Denver's 2023 schedule has been announced, and there's a slew of intriguing games on this year's schedule.
The Broncos start and end the slate with perhaps their biggest rival, play four prime-time games and play on a couple of holidays.
Which five games, though, stand out as the most compelling?
Let's get to it.
5. Broncos vs. Raiders, Week 1
A Week 1 meeting against the franchise's most-hated rival? It's hard to beat that. A new-look Raiders team will head to Denver, led by former Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels and presumptive starter Jimmy Garoppolo. Denver lost a heartbreaker at home to Las Vegas in 2022, and they'll look to earn their first win over the Raiders since their final meeting of 2019. The Broncos' losing streak against the Chiefs has garnered more attention than this skid against the Raiders, but make no mistake: Denver needs to get back in the win column vs. Las Vegas to reach its goals. This game also features one of the league's best individual matchups, as cornerback Pat Surtain II will face off against wide receiver Davante Adams.
4. Broncos at Dolphins, Week 3
Who's up for a reunion in the South Florida heat? The Broncos will travel to Miami to face former first-round pick Bradley Chubb and former head coach Vic Fangio. As Head Coach Sean Payton noted at this year's Combine, Fangio was considered for the Broncos' defensive coordinator job. Now, he'll square off against the Broncos' Payton-led offense. The intrigue around the Dolphins doesn't stop there, though. Tua Tagovailoa returns at quarterback to pilot a dynamic offense that features game-changing receivers in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel — a former Broncos assistant — and his squad will pose a tough test for Defensive Coordinator Vance Joseph, who returns to face his former team.
3. Broncos vs. Jets, Week 5
The New York Jets have dominated the headlines this offseason, and there will be plenty when they head to Denver in Week 5. Former head coach Nathaniel Hackett will return to Denver after spending the 2022 season as the Broncos' head coach, and he'll be joined by four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers. The coaching matchup of Payton and Hackett and the quarterback matchup of Russell Wilson and Rodgers are both highly compelling — and it's surely a game fans will have circled on the calendar.
2. Broncos at Bills, Week 10
The Bills were among the best teams in the AFC for most of the 2022 season, and there's little reason to suggest this year will be any different. A prime-time game in Buffalo would already be a tough, compelling test, but there's more at play here. If Von Miller is able to return from last season's ACL injury by mid-November, it would mark the Broncos' first matchup against the Super Bowl 50 MVP. Miller remains beloved in Broncos Country, and it would be entertaining — and a bit strange — to see him compete against his longtime team. In addition to the reunion story, this game will be an opportunity for the Broncos to prove themselves against a quality team.
1. Broncos at Chiefs, Week 6
The road to an AFC West title still goes through Kansas City. The Broncos have lost 15 consecutive games to the Chiefs, and they'll have a chance to snap the streak in prime time at Arrowhead. The Broncos nearly ended the streak in Week 17 last season, as a strong performance from Denver in interim head coach Jerry Rosburg's first game helped the Broncos challenge Kansas City. Wilson was near his best in that game, as he recorded three total touchdowns and one interception in the 27-24 loss. Earlier in 2022, he nearly helped the Broncos come back from a 27-0 deficit before leaving the game due to injury. Another battle against Mahomes will be must-see TV, as will the coaching matchup between two of the game's best offensive minds in Payton and Andy Reid. Of note: The last time the Broncos played on "Thursday Night Football" in Arrowhead, they earned a win over Kansas City. That game ended as Bradley Roby returned a fumble for a touchdown, and it remains Denver's last win of the series.