By guest writer Eric “the Caveman” Kosovich
It’s that time of year again. The Broncos aren’t even halfway through the pre-season, and already fools like me are trying to predict the season’s outcome. It’s an exercise in futility, and yet…
My prediction last year wasn’t all that horrible: I had the Broncos going 13-3, with losses to the Patriots and Chargers. Meh, that was probably just luck. Speaking of luck, here it goes:
Week 1: vs. Indiannapolis Colts
Andrew Luck is really good. Peyton Manning is better. Denver’s team is better than the Indy’s at every position. The Broncos cruise.
Week 2: vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs will not be the same team they were last year. They still may go above .500, but they will not beat the Broncos, especially at home.
Week 3: @ Seattle Seahawks
I thought about this game for a long time. 43-8 was the last score in a meaningful game between these two teams. Yes, the Broncos have gotten better, but they will be playing in Seattle – an extremely difficult place to play historically. On the other hand, I think Seattle’s in for a rough season. After winning the Super Bowl, the ‘Hawks talked too much, they were sore winners, and by all accounts they are not very focused on improving their game. The Broncos are the exact opposite, and I think will deal the Seahawks their second loss in three games (Seattle will also lose their first game against the Green Bay Packers) , sending the champs reeling to a 1-2 start. The Broncos on the other hand will be:
Week 4: Bye Week
Why have a bye week this early? I have no idea. This is the NFL being stupid.
Week 5: vs. Arizona Cardinals
Back-to-back bouts with the NFC West, and I think the Broncos win both. The Cardinals are a tough team with a good run game and a stout defense. But Carson Palmer at QB? Meh. Coming off a bye week, Denver should be able to outlast the Cards.
Week 6: @ New York Jets
Hello, Eric Decker! Yes, we kind of miss you, but really our split was your loss, not ours. It’s hard to be a good receiver when you don’t have a good QB. In fact, it’s hard to be a good team when you don’t have a good QB. Broncos win.
Week 7: vs. San Franciso 49ers
I fully expect the Niners to take a step back this year – they have too many injuries, and haven’t improved at all from last year. They may even miss the playoffs. HOWEVER, I really don’t like this matchup. It’s a prime-time game, which historically has been known to throw the Broncos off track. Other than that? I don’t know, I just have a bad feeling about this one.
Week 8: vs. San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are my sleeper team. I think they will very easily make the playoffs, and maybe even go pretty deep into them. The Broncos are a better team, but it’s also a Thursday night – which means Manning will probably be so PO’ed at the NFL he may not give it his all.
Week 9: @ New England Patriots
The final leg of a rough 3-game stretch. And the Broncos will lose all three, causing the national and local media alike to start minor panic. Are the Broncos good enough to get back to the Super Bowl? Are they even going to make the playoffs? Etc., etc. Shut up. Incidentally, why do the Broncos ALWAYS play in New England and never face the Pats at home?
Week 10: @ Oakland Raiders
Haha, I remember when playing Oakland was a challenge. Denver purges their 3-game losing streak demons and destroys the baddies.
Week 11: @ St. Louis Rams
Wow, three road games in a row. What the heck, NFL? The Rams are going to be pretty good this year, but not that good. Broncos roll again.
Week 12: vs. Miami Dolphins
I like Miami to squeak into the playoffs with the 6th seed this year. But no surprise upset against the class of the AFC.
Week 13: @ Kansas City Chiefs
For years and years, the Broncos could automatically chalk up a loss when playing in Arrowhead. Then Manning came along, and the Chiefs got bad, and now a sweep of our red rivals is expected. I don’t know, call me crazy – the Arrowhead blues come back to visit the Broncos for old time’s sake.
Week 14: vs. Buffalo Bills
Sammy Watkins is going to have a spectacular season, and win rookie of the year. This will be the first game he goes under 3 receptions due to tough and nasty coverage from Aqib Talib. Roasted.
Week 15: @ San Diego Chargers
Broncos learn from their earlier loss to the Chargers, and get this one in San Diego. This will be the biggest win of the season, as the Chargers are right on the heels of the Broncos. This gives our boys a little breathing room in the division.
Week 16: @ Cincinnati Bengals
The Broncos’ defense will be going into playoff mode at this point, and choke the life out of the Ginger Ninja. The Bengals don’t score a single touchdown, and the Broncos are feeling good.
Week 17: vs. Oakland Raiders
At the point, the Broncos will have just barely clinched the AFC West division, and the Chargers are accepting the 5th-seed Wild Card. The Raiders have done okay for themselves, but are squarely out of contention. Both Oakland and Denver play mostly backups, and the Broncos’ backups are better. Of note: Brock Osweiler starts the second half, and shines brightly.
A 12-4 record in this AFC should be enough for a first seed, but at the very least will give the Broncos a first-round bye in the playoffs. Disagree with any predictions? Spout off!