During July, the Last Word On Sports NFL department will be analyzing the schedules of every team in the NFL and ranking each game in order of difficulty (with one being the most difficult). This series will be split up into the eight most difficult games (ranked 1-8) and the eight easiest games (ranked 9-16) for each team. In this article, the Denver Broncos most difficult games are the focus.
Denver Broncos Most Difficult Games in 2017
1. Week 10 vs New England Patriots
It should come as no surprise that this primetime matchup against the defending champions will be the Broncos most difficult game of 2017. As long as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are around, every team in the league will have their hands full. The Patriots return the vast majority of their team and are a real threat to go undefeated in the regular season. Even though this game takes place in Denver, the Broncos will still find it difficult o win.
2. Week 12 at Oakland Raiders
When the Broncos visited Oakland on Monday Night Football in 2016, they were used and abused by the Raiders run game from the opening kick to the final horn. Derek Carr should be 100 percent by Week 12 will have their offense rolling once again. The addition of Marshawn Lynch should only make the Raiders run attack more lethal. This divisional road game will be a big test for the Broncos as divisional races start to take shape.
3. Week 2 vs Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys surprised a lot of people last year as they rode two rookies to the best record in the NFC. With Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott returning for their sophomore campaigns, the Cowboys figure to be a major contender for the Super Bowl once again. Early in the season, the Broncos will likely still be figuring some things out in Week 2 which makes this game even more daunting.
4. Week 8 at Kansas City Chiefs
Divisional games will almost always be on the tougher half of the schedule. In a division like the AFC West, this is even more evident as the teams are so competitive. The Broncos looked completely overmatched in last year’s Christmas night game. Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill will lead the Chiefs offense while the defense looks to stay at the top of the league. Arrowhead will show once again why it is once of the toughest places to play in the NFL.
5. Week 6 vs New York Giants
The Broncos get two weeks to prepare for this matchup, but the Giants will still pose a tough test. This matchup pits the Broncos famed defense against one of the most impressive passing attacks in the NFL. This figures to be a big test for the No Fly Zone battling against Brandon Marshall, Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard. The NFC East powerhouses will be a challenge for the Broncos.
6. Week 4 vs Oakland Raiders
Even though this matchup takes place in Denver, the Raiders will be a huge challenge. The only reason the Broncos were able to beat them in 2016 was due to Derek Carr’s horrific late season injury. This spot on the “Most Difficult Games” list is completely contingent upon Carr’s health. If he is ready to go by Week 4, then this will be a very tough game.
7. Week 17 vs Kansas City Chiefs
As the list continues, the divisional games keep coming. The Chiefs explosive offense will be the most challenging factor in this game which potentially could have massive playoff implications. Assuming the Broncos are in the hunt, this game will be very competitive and a barn-burner.
8. Week 15 at Indianapolis Colts
The Colts nearly took down the Broncos in Denver last year. With most of the team returning and presumably a healthier secondary, this Colts team should have the tools to play any team close. Andrew Luck will continue to perform while the rest of the team comes together around him. There is no reason to believe the Broncos will make light work of the 2017 Colts.
Be sure to check out the eight easiest games on the 2017 Denver Broncos schedule.