Broncos 2013 schedule: Late-season showdown in New England looming

Doug Pensinger

Denver has an easy schedule on paper, but a few tough games jump off the page.

The Broncos have the honor of opening the NFL season against the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night, Sept. 5.

Having won the AFC West last season, Denver will face a tough slate of AFC opponents in addition to taking on the NFC East. Still, the Broncos can't complain about their schedule. Their 2013 opponents had the lowest combined winning percentage of team's opponents in the NFL this season.

Denver's division contributes to the easy schedule. Playing the Raiders and Chargers twice each brings down the strength of the Broncos' schedule. They also get the NFC East in what is considered a down year for the division.

Here's a closer look at Denver's 2013 schedule:

Week Date Opponent Time (ET) TV
1 Sept. 5 vs. Baltimore 8:30 p.m. NBC
2 Sept. 15 @ New York Giants 4:25 p.m. CBS
3 Sept. 23 vs. Oakland 8:40 p.m. ESPN
4 Sept. 29 vs. Philadelphia 4:25 p.m. FOX
5 Oct. 6 @ Dallas 4:25 p.m. CBS
6 Oct. 13 vs. Jacksonville 4:05 p.m. CBS
7 Oct 20 @ Indianapolis 8:30 p.m. NBC
8 Oct 27 vs. Washington 4:25 p.m. FOX
9 Nov. 3 BYE - -
10 Nov. 10 @ San Diego 4:25 p.m. CBS
11 Nov. 17 vs. Kansas City 4:05 p.m. CBS
12 Nov. 24 @ New England 8:30 p.m. NBC
13 Dec. 1 @ Kansas City 1 p.m. CBS
14 Dec. 8 vs. Tennessee 4:05 p.m. CBS
15 Dec. 12 vs. San Diego 8:25 p.m. NFLN
16 Dec. 22 @ Houston 1 p.m. CBS
17 Dec. 29 @ Oakland 4:25 p.m. CBS

Toughest out: New England Patriots

The Broncos open the season with games against the last two Super Bowl champions, but a November tilt with the Patriots at Gillette Stadium will prove to be their biggest test of the season. Peyton Manning has historically struggled in New England, and cold weather hasn't been kind to this version of the Broncos. That Week 12 game will be a big bench mark for them.

Must win: Week 13 at Kansas City Chiefs

Denver will play Kansas City twice in three weeks in games that could sway the division one direction or the other. The Chiefs should be a much improved team in 2013 after adding Alex Smith at quarterback and getting healthier on both sides of the ball.

The Broncos host the Chiefs in Week 11 visiting New England and Kansas City. That is a stretch of games that could make or break Denver.

Don't overlook: Washington Redskins

Before getting a week off in early November, the Broncos will host Robert Griffin III and the Redskins in Week 8. By then, Griffin should have his legs back underneath him, and Washington could make it difficult for Denver to enter its bye week on a high note.

The Broncos will also be getting Von Miller back a week before that showdown, which will give them a better idea of how their defense is coming together.

For all of your Broncos news, make sure to head to Mile High Report.

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