Broncos Face Tough Schedule

The 2009 Denver Broncos schedule will feature three prime-time games, four divisional matchups and two Monday Night games.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Three prime-time games, including two Monday Night Football contests, and four divisional matchups in their final seven weeks of the year highlight the Denver Broncos' 2009 regular-season schedule, which was released by the National Football League on Tuesday.

The Broncos kick off their 50th season of professional football on the road for the fifth consecutive year when they play Cincinnati on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 1 p.m. EDT at Paul Brown Stadium. Denver hosts Cleveland in its home opener the following Sunday (Sept. 20) with kickoff set for 2:15 p.m. MDT at INVESCO Field at Mile High.

Denver plays consecutive home Sunday games with 2:15 p.m. MDT kickoffs against Dallas (Oct. 4) and New England (Oct. 11) before appearing on ESPN's Monday Night Football at San Diego on Oct. 19. That 5:30 p.m. PDT game against the defending AFC West-champion Chargers marks the Broncos' final contest before their Oct. 25 bye week date (Week 7).

Consecutive games at Baltimore (Sunday, Nov. 1) and at home against Pittsburgh (Monday, Nov. 9), who faced each other in the AFC Championship Game last season, mark Denver's first two contests after its bye week. The Broncos' Monday Night Football game against the defending Super Bowl champion-Steelers kicks off at 6:30 p.m. MST and represents their second Monday night contest in three outings.

Denver's game against San Diego in Week 11 (Sunday, Nov. 22) at INVESCO Field at Mile High marks the club's first home divisional game of the year. It begins a key stretch for the Broncos in which they play four AFC West opponents in their final seven weeks, including three home divisional games.

For the first time in 46 seasons and only the third time in club history, the Broncos will play a home Thanksgiving game when they host the New York Giants on Thursday, Nov. 26, at 6:20 p.m. MST on NFL Network. The Broncos conclude the regular season at home against Kansas City on Sunday, Jan. 3, at 2:15 p.m. MST.

Denver's 2009 regular-season schedule features seven games against six clubs that qualified for the playoffs last year. Its regular-season opponents had a combined record of 122-132-2 (.480) in 2008.

In accordance with the NFL's flexible scheduling plan, the Broncos' schedule may include additional prime-time games late in the season. All NFL games scheduled for Sundays from Weeks 11-17 are eligible to be moved to the Sunday night game, which is televised nationally by NBC

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