DENVER (CBS4) – The 2014 Broncos are trying to become the first team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to win the Super Bowl the year after losing the big game. You might recall that Dolphins team not only won the Super Bowl, but also had the only undefeated season in NFL history.
The Broncos certainly seem talented enough that they will be the “favorites” in almost every game this year, but chances of going 16-0 are probably small. So where might a loss come from before the playoffs?
Here are what appear to be the 5 toughest challenges for the Denver Broncos during the regular season.
5. Nov. 30 @ Kansas City – Broncos swept the Chiefs last year though, and the Chiefs don’t appear to be better this year (while the Broncos on paper certainly are). But Kansas City is always a tough place to play and this will be the Broncos fourth road game in five weeks so the team could be a bit road-weary in late November.
4. Dec. 22 @ Cincinnati – The Bengals have been a playoff team the last three years and should be in contention again in December of this year. The big question here is how much is on the line for both teams. It’s Week 16 so Denver could be in need of a win to lock up home field advantage or a first round bye, but the Broncos could also be resting starters at this point. Either way, a December game in Cincinnati is no gimme.
3. Dec. 14 @ San Diego – Another late season road test against a divisional rival where plenty could be on the line. The Chargers finished strong last year and could potentially be a threat to the Broncos AFC West 4-peat if the Broncos stumble at other points along the way. The Chargers also beat the Broncos in Denver during the regular season last year, so there’s nothing easy about this Week 15 matchup.
2. Nov. 2 @ New England – The Broncos let a 24-0 halftime lead slip away on the road against the Patriots last year and Denver has to return to New England for a rematch in 2014. Peyton Manning is 7-12 against New England, the only team he has lost to more than 10 times. The Broncos will want revenge from last year’s regular season letdown, but Denver won the game that mattered (AFC Championship) so Patriots will be motivated as well.
1. Sept. 21 @ Seattle – The Seahawks crushed the Broncos in the Super Bowl last year, and this game is in super-loud Seattle. There’s plenty of motivation here for the Broncos, but it’s hard to argue that there is a bigger challenge on the 2014 schedule.
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