FanPost

Broncos - Patriots - comparing the schedules

PATRIOTS

BRONCOS

SEP 7 @DOLPHINS 1:00 PM EDT

SEP 14 @VIKINGS 1:00 PM EDT

SEP 21 RAIDERS 1:00 PM EDT

SEP 29 @CHIEFS 8:30 PM EDT

OCT 5 BENGALS 8:30 PM EDT

OCT 12 @BILLS 1:00 PM EDT

OCT 16 JETS 8:25 PM EDT

OCT 26 BEARS 1:00 PM EDT

NOV 2 BRONCOS 4:25 PM EST

BYE

NOV 16 @COLTS 8:30 PM EST

NOV 23 LIONS 1:00 PM EST

NOV 30 @PACKERS 4:25 PM EST

DEC 7 @CHARGERS 8:30 PM EST

DEC 14 DOLPHINS 1:00 PM EST

DEC 21 @JETS 1:00 PM EST

DEC 28 BILLS 1:00 PM EST

SEP 7 COLTS 8:30 PM EDT

SEP 14 CHIEFS 4:25 PM EDT

SEP 21 @SEAHAWKS 4:25 PM EDT

BYE

OCT 5 CARDINALS 4:05 PM EDT

OCT 12 @JETS 1:00 PM EDT

OCT 19 49ERS 8:30 PM EDT

OCT 23 CHARGERS 8:25 PM EDT

NOV 2 @PATRIOTS 4:25 PM EST

NOV 9 @RAIDERS 4:05 PM EST

NOV 16 @RAMS 1:00 PM EST

NOV 23 DOLPHINS 4:25 PM EST

NOV 30 @CHIEFS 8:30 PM EST

DEC 7 BILLS 4:05 PM EST

DEC 14 @CHARGERS 4:05 PM EST

DEC 22 @BENGALS 8:30 PM EST

DEC 28 RAIDERS 4:25 PM EST


Last season, the Broncos seemed to catch all the breaks, they had the easiest schedule in the NFL, they got to play the SB Champs on opening day AT HOME versus in Baltimore... and compared to the Patriots' woes in the injury department, their team coasted, at least on the offensive side of the ball.

This season, it looks as if the Broncos will have to face 3 or 4 the very best teams in the NFL. The Patriots, 49ers, Seahawks... and possibly the Colts, Chiefs, or Chargers could pull out a surprisingly good season. Not nearly as advantageous to their record (and their record breaking offensive output) as was last season's schedule.

This is critical in the race for best record in the AFC, and lets face it, we want homefield advantage when considering the AFCCG and facing off against Manning. The Patriots have always done very well in the playoffs against Manning, when playing at home, and they have always had considerable bad luck, when facing him in his house.

By bad luck, I mean some jaw dropping bad calls and non-calls... oh, you want an example?

How about the Patriots driving at the end of the 1st, with the score Denver 3 - Patriots 0, the game’s first flag after a few opportunities of throwing one or two Denver’s way: offensive pass interference on New England.

Facing 3rd and 10, Austin Collie catches one and gets the first down. But offensive pass interference is called… Predictably, the Patriots are not successful on 3rd and 20.

Irony in the Patriots getting called for offensive pass interference on a pick play against the Broncos, who basically run pick plays on every play, and who took out Talib on a pick play.

It only got better after that... on Denver's next drive, they were stopped, and were facing a punting situation... if not for a convenient pass interference penalty, which gave the drive new life, and eventually led to Denver's first TD.

Manning's teams always seem to get lucky with those calls, when he is playing at home...

So the key is to make sure he is not playing at his house, for the AFCCG.

As for the rest of the AFC... here is my reasoning why it is going to come down to the Patriots and Broncos this year.

Well... besides the commercialization and ratings factoring in to the NFL wanting it to come down to those two...

In the North... you have the Ravens, Steelers, Browns and Bengals... all four are tough talented teams. All four are going to beat each other senseless, split games, and hence have to go the long road of playing Wild Card games and away throughout the playoffs... whichever one of them survives to make the playoffs... actually, I wouldn't be surprised if 3 playoff teams come out of the North, and they continue to beat each other senseless, until they get stuck facing off against either the Patriots or Broncos, at which point their season ends.

In the South... you have the Colts. The Jags, Texans, and Titans are all in search of that franchise QB, and they will default to the one team in the Division that has one. Don't see the Colts fairing any better than the teams from the North come the playoffs...

Barring some epic amount of injuries to either team, the AFCCG already is a near lock to be a rematch between the Patriots and Broncos... its just a matter of where its going to be held ... and that can make a huge difference in which team will be 2014's AFC Champ.

The views expressed in these FanPosts are not necessarily those of the writers or SBNation.

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