BRONCOS

Report: Broncos open regular season in Seattle

May 14, 2024, 8:40 PM | Updated: May 15, 2024, 7:17 am

The Denver Broncos schedule won’t be officially released until Wednesday at 6 p.m. MDT. But leaks are as inevitable as the sunrise — even more so now that teams have elaborate social-media presentations of the slate and need preparation time.

The first leak popped from long-time Seattle radio host Dave “Softy” Mahler, who tweeted that the Broncos would open the regular season at Lumen Field agains the Seattle Seahawks.

If true, it would mark the third time in the last seven seasons in which the Broncos opened their schedule against Seattle. The Broncos defeated the Seahawks 27-24 to open the 2018 season and fell 17-16 to begin 2022 in the infamous “46 left hash” game that saw Nathaniel Hackett settle for a 64-yard Brandon McManus field-goal attempt in the final seconds of regulation.

The last time the Broncos opened with Seattle …

This would mark the fifth time in Broncos history that they have opened their schedule against the Seahawks. Only the Raiders and Bengals have been more frequent season-opening opponents on the Broncos schedule. Denver has started nine seasons against the Raiders and seven against Cincinnati.

Denver has also opened five seasons against the Chiefs, Rams and Chargers.

The Broncos are 2-2 all-time against Seattle in regular-season opening games.

BRONCOS DREW SEAHAWKS ON SCHEDULE THROUGH THEIR FINISH IN THE STANDINGS

The matchup with Seattle would reportedly be the first game of the season — but in Broncos schedule construction, it is the 17th game. That’s because the matchup is the result of the NFL expanding its annual slate to 17 games in advance of the 2021 season, with one additional game against an opposite-conference opponent based on their finish in the standings.

In 2021, the Broncos’ 17th game was at home against Detroit. The NFL paired the AFC West with the NFC North for the 17th game, and both the Broncos and Lions finished in last place in their respective divisions. The 2022 season saw the 17th game take place in Charlotte, N.C. against the NFC South’s Carolina Panthers; both of those clubs had fourth-place finishes in 2021.

The NFC East provided the 17th game in 2023; that saw the Broncos fall to the Washington Commanders in Week 2. The NFC West completes the cycle, but for the first time, the Broncos aren’t in a duel of last-place finishers from the previous season; both Denver and Seattle finished in third place in 2023.

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