Hey Colts, Remember This Guy?
By Kyle Ratke
The Broncos don’t know their exact schedule heading into next season, as it has not yet been released. But they do know who their opponents will be, and where they will be (including a trip to Indianapolis).
Denver’s 2013 schedule includes games against the other three teams in the AFC West, all four teams in the AFC South, all four teams in the NFC East, a home game against the Super Bowl-champion Baltimore Ravens, and a road game at New England. According to the team's official website, the 2013 schedule features five playoff teams from last season in Houston, New England, Baltimore, Indianapolis and Washington. The actual schedule should be released by the NFL later this month.
Here’s a look at the most intriguing games on Denver’s schedule for the 2013 season:
Indianapolis Colts (Away)
It seems like forever ago that Peyton Manning was tossing passes to Reggie Wayne in Indianapolis. Manning was drafted by the Colts in 1998 and looked like a permanant fixture in the city. Now, that job has been handed to Andrew Luck after the Colts released Manning after multiple neck surgeries. It seems like the moves worked out for both squads. Expect plenty of standing ovations and maybe even a few tears in this one.
New England Patriots (Away)
Manning vs. Tom Brady is a dream matchup. Brady currently leads the head-to-head battle against Manning, 9-4. Brady led the Pats to a 31-21 victory in Week 5 of the 2012 season.
Perhaps the most intriguing thing about this game, though, is the return of Wes Welker to New England. In case you’ve been locked in a cellar for the last three months, Welker signed with Denver during the offseason after the Patriots failed to convince him to continue his career with New England. Welker’s numbers in six seasons with New England? 672 catches, 7,459 yards and 37 touchdowns. For some reason, we think Manning will get him the ball a few times this season.
New York Giants (Away)
Big brother vs. little brother.
You can’t argue that Peyton puts up better numbers, but Eli does have one more ring than his big bro, who has one Super Bowl win on his resume. The brothers have faced each other twice in their NFL careers, and Peyton holds a 2-0 lead. Chances are their dad Archie and the rest of the family will be attendance at the Meadowlands to watch this sibling showdown.
Philadelphia Eagles (Home)
The reason why this game is so intriguing doesn’t have anything to do with a rivalry or history. In fact, the last time the two teams played was in 2009, back when Donovan McNabb was still in the league. The Eagles hired former Oregon coach Chip Kelly as their head coach this offseason and many fans are excited for what tricks Kelly has up his sleeve. Whether or not the Eagles will be successful is one thing, but because of their personnel, every Eagles game is a must-watch, especially if you like high-octane offense.
Baltimore Ravens (Home)
In Week 15 of the 2012 season, the Broncos defeated the Ravens 34-17. Unfortunately for Denver fans, the Broncos weren’t able to win when it counted, as the Ravens won a 38-35 overtime thriller, knocking Denver out of the playoffs. The Ravens, though, have quite a different look with no Anquan Boldin, Ed Reed or Ray Lewis returning for this rematch.
Oh yeah, and former Denver defensive end Elvis Dumervil signed with Baltimore after failing to submit his contract with the Broncos before the free-agency deadline. Dumervil said that he has a “brick wall” on his shoulder after being asked to take a pay cut with the Broncos. Expect some tension in this one.
Brady-Manning is the best game EVERY year. On par with Magic-Bird and Wilt-Russell as one of the all-time great 1-1 for team sport rivalries.