The Denver Broncos have one of toughest schedules in 2019, there’s no sugar-coating it. Nearly half their schedule involves teams that made it to the postseason last year. Let’s preview three of their games – versus the Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns.
Denver Broncos 2019 Preview: Games Against Oakland, Kansas City, and Cleveland
Vs. Oakland Raiders
The Broncos begin their season against one of their biggest foes – the Raiders. 2018 was a dismal year for Oakland, finishing at 4-12, and landing them at the bottom of the AFC West. One of their four victories, however, was against the Broncos.
Their off-season may bolster them in 2019, after acquiring former Pittsburgh Steelers star receiver Antonio Brown. It was a trade in which they didn’t have to make many sacrifices. Oakland also added former Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall a month before the draft.
The Raiders were defense-centric for the most of their draft. This was a very wise move, considering they were last in points allowed and sat bottom three in rushing yards allowed. With the obvious regrouping within their defense, they’re now an unpredictable team and one that will continue their fight with the Broncos.
Vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are that thorn in Denver’s side, having won seven straight games against them. Last season, a missed attempt in week four secured the Chiefs a 27-23 victory. Less than a month later, they again won 30-23.
They were one possession short of reaching the Super Bowl, being defeated by the New England Patriots. However, they still reign supreme in the AFC West and have since 2017.
The first of their two matchups this season should prove a little easier for the Broncos, who stay home. It’ll be a short week for both teams, which may or may not impact the direction of the game.
The Chiefs had a productive off-season, acquiring players via trade and in free agency. Later, their draft focused on filling key needs in their roster, a wide receiver being their first pick, after the Tyreek Hill incident.
With Patrick Mahomes being one of the hottest young talents in the quarterback position, the Chiefs are well-equipped to handle just about anything. As Ty Walden of Predominantly Orange says, they’ll be extra hungry for that just-missed championship. The Broncos really need to bring everything they’ve got, plus some.
Vs. Cleveland Browns
2018 was the year everyone stopped thinking the worst of the Browns. Everything started to look better for Cleveland with a young and talented squad headed by star quarterback Baker Mayfield. And it was this team that pushed Denver right out of playoff contention.
The Broncos were overwhelmed by the Browns last December and before then, had won 11 games in a row against them. Unless defense and offense step up, Denver can be outplayed again.
With an already stacked roster, they are an even bigger threat after signing Odell Beckham Jr. during free agency, then drafting Greedy Williams. Whether Courtland Sutton, Emmanuel Sanders or DaeSean Hamilton line up against him, they will have their work cut out for them.
Of the two teams, Cleveland had a better record last season. No team should be nonchalant when facing them, and the Broncos need to remember this.
With the second toughest schedule of the season, the Broncos really have their work cut out for them. To make the playoffs again, they can’t afford to make more costly mistakes than the ones in their recent past.