Thu, 19 May 2022

Game-by-game breakdown of the Broncos' 2022 schedule

Denver Broncos
13 May 2022, 10:38 GMT+10

Aric DiLalla

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - The Broncos' 2022 schedule is here, and we're going in-depth.

We've given you an overarching look at the entire slate, a glimpse at the most-intriguing games and much more. Now, it's time to go game by game.

Let's get to it.

Week 1: Broncos at Seahawks

Monday, Sept. 12, 6:15 p.m. MT, ESPN/ABC

Last meeting: 2018 - Broncos 27, Seahawks 24

A year ago: Seattle finished 7-10 (fourth in NFC West) and missed the playoffs

Player to know: WR D.K. Metcalf. The former Pro Bowler is a scoring machine, with 29 touchdowns in three seasons.

Major storyline: Russ returns. The Broncos' starting quarterback will head back to face the team he led for 10 seasons, while Drew Lock will aim to restart his career with a new franchise.

Week 2: Broncos vs. Texans

Sunday, Sept. 18, 2:25 p.m. MT, CBS

Last meeting: 2019 - Broncos 38, Texans 24

A year ago: Houston finished 4-13 (third in AFC South) and missed the playoffs

Player to know: QB Davis Mills. As a rookie, Mills threw for 2,664 yards, 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2021. He figures to start at quarterback for the Texans again in 2022.

Major storyline: Russell Wilson will make his home debut at Empower Field at Mile High as the Broncos kick off an eight-game home slate that features four games against 2021 playoff teams.

Week 3: Broncos vs. 49ers

Sunday, Sept. 25, 6:20 p.m. MT, NBC

Last meeting: 2018 - 49ers 20, Broncos 14

A year ago: San Francisco finished 10-7 (third in NFC West) and advanced to the NFC Championship game.

Player to know: QB Trey Lance. The 2021 third-overall pick saw limited in action in 2021 but may take the reins from Jimmy Garoppolo this season. He threw five touchdowns and two interceptions for a 97.3 rating in his time on the field.

Major storyline: How good are the Broncos? Denver will have an early chance to prove itself against one of the final four teams alive last season. With Kyle Shanahan on the other sideline, this will be a meeting of bright, offensive-minded coaches.

Week 4: Broncos at Raiders

Sunday, Oct. 2, 2:25 p.m. MT, CBS

Last meeting: 2021 - Raiders 17, Broncos 13

A year ago: Las Vegas finished 10-7 (second in AFC West) and lost in the wild-card round of the playoffs

Player to know: WR Davante Adams. The Raiders made a blockbuster trade of their own this offseason to acquire the five-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro.

Major storyline: Can Denver snap the streak? The Broncos have struggled on the road against the Raiders in recent years, losing six straight games to their division foe away from Denver.

Week 5: Broncos vs. Colts

Thursday, Oct. 6, 6:15 p.m. MT, Prime Video

Last meeting: 2019 - Colts 15, Broncos 13

A year ago: Indianapolis finished 9-8 (second in AFC South) and missed the playoffs

Player to know: QB Matt Ryan. The Colts acquired the Falcons quarterback via trade this offseason and hope the former MVP can lead them back to the postseason.

Major storyline: How does the short week impact this game? Home teams have tended to hold the edge in Thursday night games, and Denver will welcome the Colts to Empower Field at Mile High.

Week 6: Broncos at Chargers

Monday, Oct. 17, 6:15 p.m. MT, ESPN

Last meeting: 2021 - Chargers 34, Broncos 13

A year ago: Los Angeles finished 9-8 (third in AFC West) and missed the playoffs

Player to know: OLB Khalil Mack. After Mack once battled the Broncos with the Raiders, he's back in the division with the Chargers. The three-time first-team All-Pro totaled six sacks last year.

Major storyline: Wilson vs. Herbert. There's been much debate this offseason about the quarterback pecking order in the AFC West. Can Wilson gain the upper hand early as these two teams face off for the first time?

Week 7: Broncos vs. Jets

Sunday, Oct. 23, 2:05 p.m. MT, CBS

Last meeting: 2021 - Broncos 26, Jets 0

A year ago: New York finished 4-13 (fourth in AFC East) and missed the playoffs

Player to know: QB Zach Wilson. The second-overall pick found his stride late in the year and showed promise. Can he keep it going in 2022?

Major storyline: How much do the Jets' draft picks contribute? New York was praised for its draft class, and the rookies' contributions - along with Wilson's progression - may decide if New York challenges Denver.

Week 8: Broncos at Jacksonville (London)

Sunday, Oct. 30, 7:30 a.m. MT, ESPN+

Last meeting: 2021 - Broncos 23, Jaguars 13

A year ago: Jacksonville finished 3-14 (fourth in AFC South) and missed the playoffs

Player to know: QB Trevor Lawrence. We're stacking quarterbacks here, but the first-overall pick will be one to watch as he works with new head coach Doug Pederson. His development could determine how dangerous this game is for Denver.

Major storyline: How do the Broncos handle the trip abroad? This can be a tricky week for teams as they adjust to the time change and stray from their routine. Can Denver's leadership help them stay the course and earn a win?

Week 9: BYE

Week 10: Broncos at Titans

Sunday, Nov. 13, 11 a.m. MT, CBS

Last meeting: 2020 - Titans 16, Broncos 14

A year ago: Tennessee finished 12-5 (first in AFC South) and earned the top seed in the AFC before losing in the divisional round

Player to know: RB Derrick Henry. The two-time Pro Bowler appeared in just eight games last season but still managed to rush for 937 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Major storyline: How dominant are the Titans? A year ago, the Titans wore teams down. Without wide receiver A.J. Brown, it will be interesting to see how the team's offense adjusts.

Week 11: Broncos vs. Raiders

Sunday, Nov. 20, 2:05 p.m. MT, FOX

Major storyline: New Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels is headed back to Denver after serving as the team's head coach for a pair of seasons.

Week 12: Broncos at Panthers

Sunday, Nov. 27, 11 a.m. MT, FOX

Last meeting: 2020 - Broncos 32, Panthers 27

A year ago: Carolina finished 5-12 (fourth in NFC South) and missed the playoffs

Player to know: RB Christian McCaffrey. The son of former Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey, the Panthers' star running back was rumored to be on the trading block earlier this offseason. After earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2019, he has appeared in 10 games over the last two seasons.

Major storyline: Can the Broncos avoid a slipup? Denver follows this matchup with six tough games to end the season. In an East Coast matchup with an early start time, Denver must avoid a slow start.

Week 13: Broncos at Ravens

Sunday, Dec. 4, 11 a.m. MT, CBS

Last meeting: 2021 - Ravens 23, Broncos 7

A year ago: Baltimore finished 8-9 (fourth in AFC North) and missed the playoffs

Player to know: QB Lamar Jackson. The two-time Pro Bowler is a unique weapon and beat the Broncos with his arm in 2021. Denver must have a better plan of attack this time around.

Major storyline: Is Baltimore back? The Ravens faded last year without Jackson, but they've been among the league's most dangerous teams with him in the lineup. This could be one of the Broncos' toughest games.

Week 14: Broncos vs. Chiefs

Sunday, Dec. 11, 6:20 p.m. MT, NBC

Last meeting: Chiefs 28, Broncos 24

A year ago: Kansas City finished 12-5 (first in AFC West) and advanced to the AFC Championship game

Player to know: TE Travis Kelce. Without Tyreek Hill in Kansas City, the Chiefs will likely rely more on their future Hall of Fame tight end. If Denver can slow him down, the Broncos will gain an edge.

Major storyline: Do the Broncos snap the skid? Denver has lost 13 consecutive games to Kansas City - and until that ends, that's a stat that will continue to pop up.

Week 15: Broncos vs. Cardinals

Sunday, Dec. 18, 2:05 p.m. MT, FOX

Last meeting: 2018 - Broncos 45, Cardinals 10

A year ago: Arizona finished 11-6 (second in NFC West) and fell in the wild-card round

Player to know: QB Kyler Murray. The two-time Pro Bowler has thrown for at least 20 touchdowns in each of his three NFL seasons and added 20 total rushing touchdowns, as well. He's a threat wherever he is on the field.

Major storyline: What Cardinals team shows up? Arizona has faded down the stretch in the previous couple of seasons. This matchup could be among Denver's toughest depending on how Arizona is playing.

Week 16: Broncos at Rams

Sunday, Dec. 25, 2:30 p.m. MT, CBS/Nickelodeon

Last meeting: 2018 - Rams 23, Broncos 20

A year ago: Los Angeles finished 12-5 (first in NFC West) and won Super Bowl LVI

Player to know: DL Aaron Donald. The three-time defensive player of the year has been a dominant force in the middle of Los Angeles' defense. He reportedly contemplated retirement but will return in 2022.

Major storyline: How does Denver stack up? This Christmas Day meeting with the Rams should give some indication of where the Broncos stand - and if they can become the third consecutive team to add a quarterback in the offseason and go on to win the Super Bowl.

Week 17: Broncos at Chiefs

Sunday, Jan. 1, 11 a.m. MT, CBS

Major storyline: Is the division on the line? The Broncos will take a win against the Chiefs whenever they can get it, but this game in Kansas City could determine if the Broncos take back the division for the first time since 2015.

Week 18: Broncos vs. Chargers

Saturday, Jan. 7 OR Sunday, Jan. 8. Timing/broadcast TBD.

Major storyline: One or the other? A year ago, the Chargers faced the Raiders in Week 18 to see which team would head to the playoffs. It's no stretch to say this game could determine a team's playoff - or division - fate.

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