Denver Broncos schedule takeaways:
- The Broncos schedule starts with several winnable games against the New York Giants, Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets.
- Denver plays 10 consecutive games before a Week 11 bye, including a big matchup against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4.
- Sportsnaut predicts that the Broncos will finish with a 6-11 record.
The primary focus in Denver right now is the potential for a blockbuster Aaron Rodgers trade. These Broncos are seen as the favorites to land the reigning NFL MVP. If that does come to fruition, all of these predictions can be thrown out the window.
Below, we break down the Denver Broncos schedule for the 2021 season and make score predictions for all 17 regular-season games.
Denver Broncos schedule predictions, roster outlook
Let’s take a look at the team’s complete 2021 schedule and make predictions for each game.
Broncos’ roster outlook
- QB — Drew Lock, Teddy Bridgewater
- RB — Melvin Gordon, Javonte Williams (R), Royce Freeman
- WR — Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, K.J. Hamler, Tim Patrick
- TE — Noah Fant
- Defense — Broncos ranked third in the NFL this week.
Whoever is under center for the Broncos this season should have a tremendous skill-position group to work with. Melvin Gordon is joined in the backfield by stud rookie, second-round pick Javonte Williams. They will work together well.
Rumors continue to link Denver to reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers in a potential trade. Obviously, the Broncos’ fortunes for the 2021 NFL season would change on a dime if they were able to pull off that blockbuster trade.
However, it’s the wide receiver position in Denver that has hopes high heading into the 2021 season. Pro Bowl receiver Courtland Sutton returns after missing all but one game last season to a torn ACL. He’s joined by high-upside second-year receiver Jerry Jeudy to form a potentially elite pairing.
As much as the quarterback position will dictate Denver’s success in 2021, it’s defense could very well be dominating. That includes Von Miller returning to team up with fellow edge rusher Bradley Chubb. The selection of cornerback Patrick Surtain II to go with Pro Bowl safety Justin Simmons is going to help, too.
Denver Broncos 2021 preseason schedule
|Saturday, Aug. 14||@ Minnesota Vikings||4:00 PM||KTVD|
|Saturday, Aug. 21||@ Seattle Seahawks`||10:00 PM||KTVD|
|Saturday, Aug. 28||vs. Los Angeles Rams||9:05 PM||KTVD|
This season the NFL is lowering the amount of preseason games to three per team, and instead expanding the regular season to 17 games, rather than the traditional 16 games.
Week 1 — @ New York Giants
|Sunday, Sept. 12||4:25 PM||FOX|
- Spread: Broncos -1.5
- Moneyline: Giants -105; Broncos -117
- Over/under: 42.5
A low-scoring battle with the underrated element that prior Giants head coach Pat Shurmur serves as Denver’s offensive coordinator. However, Jones is a better QB than either of the current options the Broncos intend to trot out in 2021 in Teddy Bridgewater or Drew Lock, which swings the outcome in favor of the home team.
- Week 1 prediction: Giants 23, Broncos 17
Week 2 — @ Jacksonville Jaguars
|Sunday, Sept. 19||1:00 PM||CBS|
This one really depends on whether Denver can find an upgrade over Teddy Bridgewater or Drew Lock at quarterback. Presuming the Broncos don’t, it feels OK to give the Jaguars the nod here in a nail-biter.
- Week 2 prediction: Jaguars 27, Broncos 23
Week 3 — vs. New York Jets
|Sunday, Sept. 26||4:05||CBS|
Playing in the altitude actually works to New York’s probable strength, which is Wilson stretching the field in the play-action passing game with Corey Davis, Denzel Mims and Elijah Moore. The Jets are liable to surrender some points, but don’t be shocked if they emerge from Denver with an upset win.
- Week 3 prediction: Jets 20, Broncos 16
Week 4 — vs. Baltimore Ravens
|Sunday, Oct. 3||4:25 PM||CBS|
Whether it’s Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater under center, the Broncos are going to have a ton of issues scoring against good defenses in 2021. This Week 4 matchup will magnify that with Denver’s solid duo at wide receiver in Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy being snuffed out by Baltimore’s equally elite cornerback tandem.
- Week 4 prediction: Ravens 27, Broncos 17
Week 5 — @ Pittsburgh Steelers
|Sunday, Oct. 10||1:00 PM||FOX|
Denver’s defense should do enough to keep this game close, especially with the pass-protection issues that Pittsburgh has in front of the immobile Ben Roethlisberger. Unfortunately, I just don’t envision the Broncos having enough firepower on offense to come away with the road win in Week 5.
- Week 5 prediction: Steelers 20, Broncos 13
Week 6 — vs. Las Vegas Raiders
|Sunday, Oct. 17||4:25||CBS|
t’s pretty simple. If Las Vegas is going to earn a surprise appearances in the playoffs this season, it will need to sweep one of the Chargers or Broncos. The Raiders boast the most-difficult schedule in the league. Acquiring divisional wins is going to be huge. As for the Broncos, they were 2-6 at home a season ago and are under .500 at Mile High under Vic Fangio. Expect these two things to play a huge role in an upset Raiders road win.
- Week 6 prediction: Broncos 24, Raiders 17
Week 7 — @ Cleveland Browns (TNF)
|Thursday, Oct. 21||8:20 PM||FOX/NFLN/Amazon|
The quarterback situation in Denver is anywhere from unsettled to unspectacular. Vic Fangio can coach up that defense all he wants, but unless a better trigger man for the offense comes around, its young skill position talent will go to waste in 2021. That spells another Browns victory.
Week 7 prediction: Browns 30, Broncos 20
Week 8 — vs. Washington Football Team
|Sunday, Oct. 31||4:25 PM||FOX|
Whether it’s Teddy Bridgewater or Drew Lock under center for the Broncos in 2021, we’re looking at some low-scoring affairs in the Mile High City. When you take into account Washington’s stifling defense, this is magnified further. In what should be a hotly-contested affair, I am going with the home team to do just enough to come out on top.
- Week 8 prediction: Broncos 20, Washington 17
Week 9 — @ Dallas Cowboys
|Sunday, Nov. 7||1:00 PM||FOX|
We’re expecting a closer than anticipated matchup in this midseason game. Sure the Cowboys have a ton of talent on offense with Ezekiel Elliott, CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup at the skill positions. But Denver’s secondary might be one of the best units in the NFL. At the very least, that should keep this game close.
- Week 9 prediction: Cowboys 27, Broncos 23
Week 10 — vs. Philadelphia Eagles
|Sunday, Nov. 14||4:25 PM||CBS|
Few teams have a less certain or more dubious quarterback situation than the Eagles, but Denver is one of them. Whoever is under center for the Broncos must step up in games against like opponents. As for Philadelphia, greenish quarterback Jalen Hurts might struggle in the face of what promises to be a solid Broncos pass rush.
- Week 10 prediction: Broncos 23, Eagles 17
WEEK 11 BYE
Week 12 — vs. Los Angeles Chargers
|Sunday, Nov. 28||4:05 PM||CBS|
Protecting its homefield. That will be key for Denver as the team looks to overcome what was a disappointing 2020 season. The Broncos are under .500 at home during the Vic Fangio era. This must change in short order. The good news? Denver’s defense held Justin Herbert to four touchdowns against two interceptions as a rookie. Should this trend continue in 2021, I wouldn’t be shocked with a home win over the ascending Chargers.
- Week 12 prediction: Broncos 24, Chargers 20
Week 13 — @ Kansas City Chiefs
|Sunday, Dec. 5||1:00 PM||CBS|
Kansas City has outscored Denver 118-41 in their past four outings, winning each one. There’s not much more that can be said here. Patrick Mahomes and Co. will dominate.
- Week 13 prediction: Chiefs 31, Broncos 17
Week 14 — vs. Detroit Lions
|Sunday, Dec. 12||4:05 PM||FOX|
Yet another game that should at least be competitive for the Lions, I still have a hard time believing that their offense will be able to do much against Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, Patrick Surtain II and Justin Simmons. While Detroit might keep Denver’s offense in check, this is a difficult road matchup.
- Week 14 prediction: Broncos 28, Lions 13
Week 15 — vs. Cincinnati Bengals
|Sunday, Dec. 19||4:05 PM||CBS|
Playing in the altitude is usually a tall task for opponents unfamiliar with the unique elements in the Mile High City. Since Cincinnati’s defense is already lacking playmakers, and the Broncos have the personnel at cornerback to hold up against the Bengals’ loaded receiving corps, Denver should take care of business.
- Week 15 prediction: Broncos 28, Bengals 24
Week 16 — @ Las Vegas Raiders
|Sunday, Dec. 26||4:25 PM||CBS|
Things change on a dime between the Broncos and Raiders depending on the Aaron Rodgers situation. What we do know is that Las Vegas has won five of its past seven against Denver. Taking on the Broncos at home in what promises to be an electric Allegiant Stadium, we’re expecting that to be the case in Week 16. Whether it leads to playoff contention. Well, that’s unlikely.
- Week 16 prediction: Raiders 27, Broncos 24
Week 17 — @ Los Angeles Chargers
|Sunday, Jan. 2||4:05 PM||CBS|
Winning on the road against similar competition has proven to be an issue for the Broncos. Now that Los Angeles is going to be welcoming fans into their new Southern California stadium for the 2021 season, that will be magnified here.
- Week 17 prediction: Chargers 27, Broncos 16
Week 18 — vs. Kansas City Chiefs
|Sunday, Jan. 9||4:25 PM||CBS|
See Week 13.
- Week 18 prediction: Chiefs 24, Broncos 13