A Look At The Denver Broncos 2016 Regular Season Schedule

The Broncos 2016 regular season schedule has been unveiled.

For the first time in 16 years, the Denver Broncos will enter the regular season as defending World Champions. To defend their title, the Broncos will face a grueling 16-game regular season schedule, and they'll have to do it without a bona-fide franchise quarterback. 

We've known who the Broncos 12 opponents would be for months, but now we know the order in which the Broncos will do battle with them. Tonight, the NFL finally released the 2016 regular season schedule. For the fifth year in a row, the Broncos have five nationally televised games.

And for the sixth consecutive year, the Broncos open their season at home. Without further adieu. 

All times will be Mountain Standard. 

Week 1: Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers

Date: September 8

Time: 6:30 p.m. 

TV: NBC

Analysis: The Broncos get their Super Bowl 50 rematch right out of the gates on Thursday Night Football. Cam Newton will look to exorcise his Von Miller demons in the Mile High City. The Broncos offense, which was stale in 2015, will face one of it's stiffest challenges of the season right off the bat. Luke Kuechly leads a young, powerhouse defense that will also be looking for a little revenge. This game represents the first time that both Super Bowl participants from the previous season will meet in Week 1 since 1970.

Week 2: Denver Broncos vs. Indianapolis Colts

Date: September 18

Time: 2:25 p.m.

TV: CBS

Analysis: The Broncos are 1-2 vs. the Colts in the John Elway era. That doesn't count their disappointing loss in the Divisional Round of the 2014-15 playoffs. Peyton Manning is gone, but that doesn't mean the rivalry is. With Andrew Luck at the helm, the Colts are perennial AFC contenders whom the Broncos must vanquish to maintain seeding supremacy come January. 

Week 3: Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals

Date: September 25

Time: 11 a.m.

TV: CBS

Analysis: The Broncos get three stiff matchups in a row to start the season. Their first road trip will be to Paul Brown stadium to take on a stacked Bengals team. Marvin Lewis returns on the heels of a one-year extension and Andy Dalton is back. Last year, the Broncos barely eeked out a win at home vs. the Bengals with Cincinnati's backup quarterback. This game will test the new-look Broncos. 

Week 4: Denver Broncos at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Date: October 2

Time; 2:05 p.m.

TV: CBS

Analysis: The Broncos get their first crack at Jameis Winston. The Bucs are a team on the come and could be one of those teams who seem to personify the annual parity of the NFL each year, surprising people in their improvement. The Broncos finish the first quarter of their season with two home games and two away games. 

Week 5: Denver Broncos vs. Atlanta Falcons

Date: October 9

Time: 2:05 p.m.

TV: FOX

Analysis: The Broncos get their third NFC South team in five weeks in Dan Quinn's squad. Matt Ryan is always formidable and Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman are two of the league's top playmakers. The question is whether Atlanta's defense can improve. Notwithstanding Vic Beasley, they lack a consistent pass rush, but the NFL Draft could remedy that come football season. 

Week 6: Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers

Date: October 13

Time: 6:25 p.m.

TV: CBS

Analysis: In their first divisional bout of the season, but second on TNF, the Broncos draw Philip Rivers and the Chargers. Unless they upgrade their offensive line, it's hard to see the Chargers keeping Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware off Rivers' back. On defense, the Chargers get the perfect opportunity to improve with a top-5 pick in the upcoming draft. It will be interesting to see how much losing their emotional leader on defense, Eric Weddle, affects the Chargers. 

Week 7: Denver Broncos vs. Houston Texans

Date: October 24

Time: 6:30 p.m.

TV: ESPN

Analysis: This is a game the Broncos and their fans have already circled and one the Monday Night Football crew clearly want to capitalize on. The Broncos get their first opportunity to play against Brock Osweiler. The fifth-year QB snubbed the Broncos in free agency, wilting under the pressure of being "the guy" in the shadow of Peyton Manning and John Elway. Don't think the Broncos players won't relish the chance to dial Osweiler up on the grid-iron to remind him what he left behind. 

Week 8: Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers

Date: October 30

Time: 2:05

TV: CBS

Analysis: In a quick two-week turnaround, the Broncos will rematch the Chargers. This time, it'll be in Denver, but Philip Rivers always finds a way to keep these division rivalry games interesting. In the second quarter of their season, the Broncos play 3-of-4 games at home. 

Week 9: Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders

Date: November 6th

Time: 6:30 p.m. 

TV: NBC

Analysis: The Raiders are on the up-tick, as we saw last year when they beat the Broncos in Denver on the shoulders of Khalil Mack's five sacks. Jack Del Rio is always game to go toe-to-toe with John Elway, but can Derek Carr take that next quantum leap forward and cement himself as one of the league's top gunslingers? 

Week 10: Denver Broncos at New Orleans Saints

Date: November 13

Time: 11 a.m.

TV: CBS

Analysis: To finish out their NFC South run, the Broncos get Drew Brees and the Saints. New Orleans' defense was a sieve in 2015 but they've made several moves in free agency that should bolster the unit. Although he's getting long in the tooth, Brees remains one of the league's best passers and is a dangerous opponent on any given Sunday. 

Week 11: Bye

Analysis: I like where the Broncos bye falls this year. It'll come right before the stretch run and could serve as the perfect opportunity to recharge the batteries. 

Week 12: Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Date: November 27

Time: 2:25 p.m.

TV: CBS

Analysis: The Broncos finally get another swing at the Chiefs, who defeated them at home in an embarrassing beat-down when last they met. Alex Smith is one of the league's most underrated signal-callers and always finds a way to keep Kansas City's divisional games vs. Denver competitive. It's hard to say what we'll see from the Chiefs defense in 2016, with the future of All-Pro outside linebacker Justin Houston cloudy. No matter what happens with Houston, the Chiefs have talent all across their defense. 

Week 13: Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars

Date: December 4

Time: 11 a.m.

TV: CBS

Analysis: In what feels like a trend, the Broncos draw yet another team on the brink of turning the corner. The Jaguars fate, however, is dependent on whether Blake Bortles can mature and provide his team with a consistent level of play. They have the offensive talent to be explosive and put up points, and on defense, they feel like they plugged a big hole by signing Malik Jackson. Whether Dante Fowler returns to form and how they handle the No. 5 overall pick will also shape what kind of team the Broncos play on the road this week. 

Week 14: Denver Broncos at Tennessee Titans

Date: December 11

Time: 11 a.m. 

TV: CBS

Analysis: Like Tampa Bay, the Broncos get their first crack at one of the 2015 NFL Draft's top quarterbacks in Marcus Mariota. The Titans will have a lot of pressure to cash in on the draft capital they acquired via the fleecing of the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for the No. 1 overall pick. The Titans have a lot of holes, but those extra draft picks should go a long way toward filling them. 

Week 15: Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots

Date: December 18

Time: 2:25

TV: CBS

Analysis: In a rematch of the AFC Title Game, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will look to break the hex the Broncos have on them in the Mile High City. No matter who's playing quarterback for the Broncos, New England has a difficult time winning on the road vs. the Broncos. With the acrimony that arose in the wake of the AFC Title Game, it'll be interesting to watch this grudge match unfold. It'll be a game sure to have post-season implications. 

Week 16: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs

Date: December 25

Time: 6:30 p.m. 

TV: NBC

Analysis: Fans will have a Merry Christmas indeed, as the Broncos play a divisional opponent in a nationally televised throwdown. This is a game that could determine who wins the division crown. It's never easy playing at Arrowhead Stadium, but doing so in late December in a night game makes it even tougher. The defending Super Bowl champs finish with their fifth and final game on primetime television. 

Week 17: Denver Broncos vs Oakland Raiders

Date: January 1

Time: 2:25 p.m.

TV: CBS

Analysis: The AFC West is wide open in 2016, according to this football writer. And like the previous week's opponent, this week's could also determine who wins the AFC West championship. The Broncos have won it five years in a row. Can they do it again? 

Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.

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