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 easiest games are the focus.
Denver Broncos Easiest Games in 2017
9. Week 16 at Washington Redskins
The Redskins were very close to making the “Most Difficult Games” list, but they just don’t have enough pieces to hang around. Even with Kirk Cousins returning on another franchise tag, the Redskins don’t figure to be a major contender this year. A late season game in DC will never be an easy test though.
10. Week 13 at Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins figure to be a better team in 2017 than last season. With Ryan Tannehill healthy and under center, the Dolphins figure to contend for a playoff spot in the AFC. Unfortunately for them, the defense does not look like it will make the necessary improvements to solidify a playoff spot. The Dolphins are going to be improved but not yet ready to make the jump.
11. Week 7 at San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are a classic case of not fixing what is clearly broken. No team has truly worried about the San Diego Chargers in the AFC West since 2009, and it’s hard to see that changing now. The only reason this game is in the 11 slot is because it is still a divisional road game.
12. Week 3 at Buffalo Bills
The Bills are an interesting team. They have talented players like Tyrod Taylor and Sammy Watkins, but they never seem to really threaten the top of the AFC. With the departure of the Ryan brothers, Buffalo will have a vastly different atmosphere which may take some time to adapt. An early season matchup gives a clear advantage to the Broncos.
13. Week 11 vs Cincinnati Bengals
With the exception of early rushing touchdowns, the Broncos did not really struggle in an early season road game in Cincinnati last season. The Bengals have done little to improve their roster. It seems as though they will be stuck in an endless loop until Andy Dalton and/or Marvin Lewis leave the team. This doesn’t seem like it will be a major test, especially in Denver.
14. Week 9 at Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Wentz will continue to fight through the growing pains during his sophomore season in the NFL. The Eagles will likely struggle to find a groove in a tough division with an extremely difficult schedule. The Broncos will need to take advantage of a team presumably down on their luck.
15. Week 1 vs San Diego Chargers
Opening night on Monday Night Football in Denver is never an easy task. For a team that struggles like the Chargers, this task will be even more troubling. Philip Rivers will keep the team afloat but never will become a threat to win the AFC West. This would be the easiest game on the schedule in most years, but the Broncos have one easier game in 2017.
16. Week 12 vs New York Jets
The Jets are bad. There really is no other way to say it. While they have a solid defense, the Jets will struggle to score all year without a quarterback. Nobody inside, or outside, the Jets organization expects any quarterback of the future to emerge this year. Josh McCown, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg will all battle for playing time. Unfortunately for the Jets, neither of the three is their savior. This will be far and away the easiest game of the year for the Broncos.
Be sure to check out the eight most difficult games on the 2017 Denver Broncos schedule.