Considering that the Colorado Avalanche start their run at Lord Stanley’s Cup this week as the top overall seed, while the Denver Nuggets begin their march to the NBA Finals just days later, it seems ridiculous to talk about the Denver Broncos when the NFL season does not kickoff until September.

It would be one thing if Denver had managed to trade for Aaron Rodgers, but even as Bronco Nation continues to dream, common knowledge has Green Bay holding off on any trade talk until after the First of June with the intent of maneuvering Rodgers’ $31 million dead cap money into something more manageable.

But instead of talking about Nathan McKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, or Nikola Jokic, the NFL recently released the 2021 NFL Schedule and with apologies to Philipp Grubauer, football comes first.

Predicting all 17 games of Denver’s upcoming NFL schedule.

WEEK ONE @ THE NEW YORK GIANTS – The Giants (6-10) were a bad team in 2020 as four of their six victories were the result of playing in a laughable NFC East.  But New York drafted Kadarius Toney (WR/Florida) in the first round, signed free agent Kenny Golladay (WR/Detroit), and star running back Saquon Barkley is scheduled to return from injury.  New York Giants 17 – Denver 13.  (0-1)

WEEK TWO @ THE JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – Jacksonville won only one game last season, and despite bringing in new coach Urban Meyer, drafting quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and signing Tim Tebow to play tight end, the team has a lot still to do.  Denver 28 – Jacksonville 14. (1-1)


WEEK THREE vs THE NEW YORK JETS – Denver’s first home game of the regular season should be a rough one for quarterback Zach Wilson.  With the Bronco defense and the potential of our stadium close to capacity, look for Denver’s running game to be enough to secure the win.  Denver 24 – New York Jets 10. (2-1)

WEEK FOUR vs THE BALTIMORE RAVENS – The Ravens (11-5) went 6-2 on the road last season, upgraded their wide receiver group, and have a quarterback named Lamar Jackson.  Baltimore 31 – Denver 7. (2-2)

WEEK FIVE @ THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS – The Steelers were 12-4 last season and 7-1 at home.  Adding Najee Harris (Alabama) to fill their glaring issue at running back is problematic for the Broncos.  Pittsburgh 27 – Denver 17. (2-3)

WEEK SIX vs THE LAS VEGAS RAIDERS – The Raiders (8-8) were a decent road team last season going 6-2. As usual, look for Las Vegas to play well in the early season while healthy and listening to coach Jon Gruden.  Then look for the team to fade late when the organization gets tired of him.  Las Vegas 28 – Denver 27. (2-4)

WEEK SEVEN @ THE CLEVELAND BROWNS – One of the strangest statistics from last season is that the Browns (11-5) were outscored by their opponents 408 to 419, a scoring differential of -11.  Not so strange is that Denver was outscored 323 to 446, a scoring differential of -123.  Cleveland 27 – Denver 18. (2-5)

WEEK EIGHT vs THE WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM – Washington has a terrific defense, just no quarterback.  Denver has a terrific defense, just no quarterback.  This game could be the tipping point of the season as a loss would make five in-a-row, a change at quarterback, and a coach in serious trouble.  Washington 21 – Denver 18. (2-6)

WEEK NINE @ THE DALLAS COWBOYS – Dak Prescott versus Teddy Bridgewater is a bit of a mismatch.  The Broncos defense will keep them in games all season, but when asked to outscore the other team, Denver is in trouble.  Dallas 35 – Denver 24. (2-7)

WEEK TEN vs THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – The Eagles were just 1-7 on the road last season and are in a true rebuilding mode.  Even with quarterback Jalen Hurts and wide receiver DeVonte Smith (Alabama), Denver finally gets a matchup in which they can outscore their opponent.  Denver 17 – Philadelphia 7. (3-7)

WEEK TWELVE vs THE LOS ANGELES CHARGERS – Following a BYE week, the Broncos take advantage of their rest by defeating an improving young Chargers squad while saving Vic Fangio’s job, for now.  Denver 28 – Los Angeles Chargers 24. (4-7)

WEEK THIRTEEN @ THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – If this game were at home, and not on the road, the Broncos would have a chance.  Kansas City 38 – Denver 14. (4-8)

WEEK FOURTEEN vs THE DETROIT LIONS – The Lions added quarterback Jared Goff and offensive lineman Penei Sewell (Oregon) as the rebuild is on.  Denver’s win now strategy finally pays off.  Denver 27 – Detroit 14. (5-8)

WEEK FIFTEEN vs THE CINCINNATI BENGALS – The definition of a trap game as it is difficult to get up for the Bengals on a cold December day.  Joe Burrow accentuates Denver’s issue at the quarterback position as the Bengals pull off the upset.  Cincinnati 32 – Denver 16. (5-9)

WEEK SIXTEEN @ THE LAS VEGAS RAIDERS – Officially eliminated from the playoffs and coming off an embarrassing loss to the Bengals, the Broncos play like they are already on vacation in Vegas.  Las Vegas 34 – Denver 14. (5-10)

WEEK SEVENTEEN @ THE LOS ANGELES CHARGERS – Vic Fangio is rumored to be interviewing for defensive coordinator jobs while Justin Herbert puts on a show.  Los Angeles 45 – Denver 17. (5-11)

WEEK EIGHTEEN vs THE KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – If this game were against the Kansas City Royals, and not the Kansas City Chiefs, the Broncos would have a chance.  Kansas City 35 – Denver 21. (5-12)

Before the hate mail comes flying in.  The prediction of a 5-12 season is based on a Drew Lock versus Teddy Bridgewater quarterback scenario.  Insert Aaron Rodgers at quarterback and I see wins at every game except the Ravens, at Kansas City, and maybe an off day against the Browns.  Changing my prediction to 14-3.  And Super Bowl aspirations.


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Alan Tapley is an educator, author, and blogger who has lived just outside of Boulder for the last twenty years.  His published work includes two novels, two children’s books, a series of cartoons in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and multiple sports related articles. His love for family and the state of Colorado is only matched by one thing, his passion for sports.  The first baseball game he ever attended was at Wrigley Field, before there were lights.  At the final Bronco game at the old Mile High, he allegedly cut out a piece of his seat in the South stands.  But regardless of being here for the Avalanche’s last Stanley Cup, the Rockies only World Series appearance, and all the Broncos’ Super Bowl Victories, his wife never fails to remind him that he wasn’t at the University of Colorado in 1990, like she was.  The year the Buffs football team won the National Championship