Posted Wed Apr 20th by Jon Heath
On Tuesday, the Denver Broncos announced their regular season schedule for the upcoming 2011 NFL season. Among the team’s notable games is a Monday Night season opener, a Thursday Night game, a Christmas Eve game and a game on New Years Day.
The last time the Broncos opened a season on Monday Night Football was in 2008 when the team beat the Oakland Raiders, 41-14, in Oakland. The last time the team faced the Raiders at home however (where they’ll be playing them on September 12th this year), the Broncos lost 59-14 in one of the worst games in franchise history (which fittingly came in one the worst seasons in franchise history). The game will air on ESPN.
The Broncos will again be in the National Television spotlight on November 17th when the team takes on the New York Jets, Denver’s second prime time game of the year played at home. The last time the Broncos faced the Jets was in 2009 when a pass interference call gave New York the ball on Denver’s two-yard line and ultimately cost Denver the game. Needless to say, revenge will be on the mind of Broncos and their fans. The game will air on the NFL Network.
Denver will travel to Buffalo later in the year to face the Bills for the second time in 2011 on Christmas Eve (they’ll also play them at home in the preseason on August 20th). The Broncos have had many memorable games against the Bills over the years (the Chinese fire drill, and Brandon Stokley‘s drop come to mind), expect this one to follow suit. Personally, there would be no greater gift than waking up on Christmas morning after a Broncos win. The game will air on CBS.
The Broncos will end their regular season at home on New Years Day, against the Kansas City Chiefs. The game will mark the first time Denver has played on New Years Day since 1978, when they defeated the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Championship. Denver was embarrassed by the Chiefs the last time they played them at home (they lost 49-29 in 2010) and will be eager to return the favor. The game will air on CBS.
Three other games you’ll want to mark on your calendars include Jay Cutler‘s return to Denver when the Bears come to town on December 11th, Denver traveling to Miami to take on Brandon Marshall and the Dolphins on October 23rd and when the team travels to take on the Raiders on November 6th. Fans will undoubtedly be eager to see cornerback Champ Bailey match up against Marshall and Denver’s defense take on Cutler (and hopefully take his head off).
Their second game against Oakland, on November 6th, will be played on my birthday. You may be wondering how this game is notable for anyone beside myself. The last time Denver played on my birthday was in 2008 when the team faced the Cleveland Browns on Thursday Night football. The Broncos won the game 34-30 after being down 20-10 at halftime and scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter. The game was quarterback Brady Quinn‘s first career pro start (for the Browns, Denver acquired him in 2009) and the day running back Peyton Hillis‘ was truly discovered. If history repeats itself, the game will be a must-watch.
Of course, unless the league owners and players can come to a new collective bargaining agreement and the lockout is lifted, there may not even be a 2011 NFL season. If there is though, we’ll certainly be looking forward to watching the above mentioned games!