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No matter what order, Broncos' schedule will be mixed with rugged opponents — and cellar dwellers

Denver's 17-game regular-season schedule, and three preseason games, will become known Wednesday.

DENVER — The Denver Broncos’ schedule will be rugged and physical in one sense, easy in another.

Rough and tough in that the Broncos are loaded up against Eastern opponents that still tend to play a bad-weather brand of football. The 2021 NFL schedules, which for the first time will include a 17th regular-season game, will be released at 6 p.m. MDT Wednesday. Home and road opponents are already known but the order of it with dates and kickoff times will become known.

The Broncos' three preseason games — one at Empower Field at Mile High, the other two on the road — that will be shown on Channel 20 will also be revealed.

Besides their two games, home and road, against their AFC West Division opponents, the Broncos will play all teams in the NFC East and AFC North.

The league also tries to instill competitive balance within their schedules each year. Because the Broncos finished last in the AFC West last season with a 5-11 record, their scheduled includes fellow cellar-dwellers the Jaguars (1-15), Jets (2-14), Lions (5-11) and also the Eagles (4-11-1) and Bengals (4-11-1) who finished last in the NFC East and NFC North, respectively.

Then again, when you posted 5-11, 6-10, 7-9 and 5-11 records the past four years as the Broncos have, no opponent is a pushover.

A look at the Denver Broncos schedule in order of entertainment value:

HOME

Ravens

Broncos get first in-game look at Lamar Jackson.

Chiefs

There’s nothing new about playing Patrick Mahomes II, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce but there’s always firepower to witness.

Raiders

Derek Carr and Jon Gruden put up 37 and 32 points in beating the Broncos twice last year.

Chargers

Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert has some right tackle protection in first-round pick Rashawn Slater.

Eagles

From Super Bowl in 2017 to badly mismanaged, Jalen Hurts better be the answer.

Bengals

Joe Burrow may take half a season to get fully right from ACL surgery but his former LSU receiver Ja’Marr Chase should help.

Washington

Won the NFC East last year with a 7-9 record and 38-year-old journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick is their starting quarterback. Still, The Football Team had the No. 2-ranked defense, although it lost cornerback Ronald Darby to the Broncos.  

Jets

Zach Wilson and Robert Saleh are the latest QB-head coach hope for this moribund franchise.

Lions

Speaking of moribund franchises.

Credit: AP Photo/Jack Dempsey
Von Miller on Sept. 15, 2019.

ROAD

Cowboys

Dak is back. The last time Broncos played at the Jerry Jones’ palace, Peyton Manning snuck one in a 51-48 shootout win over Tony Romo.

Jaguars

Urban Meyer and Trevor Lawrence will turn this franchise around. Earlier this game on the schedule, the better chance Tim Tebow will be around.

Chiefs

Don’t want the game at Arrowhead in December. Broncos are 3-21 in road December games against the Dallas Texans/Chiefs.

Browns

Baker’s boys includes the best 1-2 running back duo in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.

Steelers

Big Ben is losing his fastball but he still put up his eighth season of at least 10 wins last year with a 12-3 record.

Raiders

Broncos first business trip to Las Vegas last year went poorly in a 37-12 loss.

Chargers

Let’s see if Brandon Staley is as good of a first-year head coach as he was first-year defensive coordinator last year for the Rams.

Giants

Is this the most boring team in football? Even their young quarterback, Daniel Jones, doesn’t have much flash.

Credit: Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini
Patrick Surtain II, right, with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Cleveland.

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