Three prime-time games, including two Monday Night Football contests, and four divisional matchups in their final seven weeks of the year highlight the Denver Broncos’ 2009 regular-season schedule, which was released by the National Football League on Tuesday.
The Broncos kick off their 50th season of professional football on the road for the fifth consecutive year when they play Cincinnati on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 1 p.m. EDT at Paul Brown Stadium. Denver hosts Cleveland in its home opener the following Sunday (Sept. 20) with kickoff set for 2:15 p.m. MDT at INVESCO Field at Mile High.
Denver plays consecutive home Sunday games with 2:15 p.m. MDT kickoffs against Dallas (Oct. 4) and New England (Oct. 11) before appearing on ESPN’s Monday Night Football at San Diego on Oct. 19. That 5:30 p.m. PDT game against the defending AFC West-champion Chargers marks the Broncos’ final contest before their Oct. 25 bye week date (Week 7).
Consecutive games at Baltimore (Sunday, Nov. 1) and at home against Pittsburgh (Monday, Nov. 9), who faced each other in the AFC Championship Game last season, mark Denver’s first two contests after its bye week. The Broncos’ Monday Night Football game against the defending Super Bowl champion-Steelers kicks off at 6:30 p.m. MST and represents their second Monday night contest in three outings.
Denver’s game against San Diego in Week 11 (Sunday, Nov. 22) at INVESCO Field at Mile High marks the club’s first home divisional game of the year. It begins a key stretch for the Broncos in which they play four AFC West opponents in their final seven weeks, including three home divisional games.
For the first time in 46 seasons and only the third time in club history, the Broncos will play a home Thanksgiving game when they host the New York Giants on Thursday, Nov. 26, at 6:20 p.m. MST on NFL Network. The Broncos conclude the regular season at home against Kansas City on Sunday, Jan. 3, at 2:15 p.m. MST.
Denver’s 2009 regular-season schedule features seven games against six clubs that qualified for the playoffs last year. Its regular-season opponents had a combined record of 122-132-2 (.480) in 2008.
In accordance with the NFL’s flexible scheduling plan, the Broncos’ schedule may include additional prime-time games late in the season. All NFL games scheduled for Sundays from Weeks 11-17 are eligible to be moved to the Sunday night game, which is televised nationally by NBC.
The Broncos’ complete schedule is listed below with all kickoff times local at game sites.
DENVER BRONCOS 2009 SCHEDULE
(home games in caps; all times local at site of game)
Wk. Day Date Opponent Site Time TV
1 TBD Aug. 13-17 at San Francisco Candlestick Park TBD KKTV-TV
2 TBD Aug. 20-24 at Seattle Qwest Field TBD KKTV-TV
3 Sun. Aug. 30 CHICAGO INVESCO Field at Mile High 6 p.m. MDT NBC (NTL)
4 Thu. Sept. 3 ARIZONA INVESCO Field at Mile High 7 p.m. MDT KKTV-TV
Wk. Day Date Opponent Site Time TV
1 Sun. Sept. 13 at Cincinnati Paul Brown Stadium 1 p.m. EDT KKTV (CBS)
2 Sun. Sept. 20 CLEVELAND INVESCO Field at Mile High 2:15 p.m. MDT KKTV (CBS)
3 Sun. Sept. 27 at Oakland McAfee Coliseum 1:15 p.m. PDT KKTV (CBS)
4 Sun. Oct. 4 DALLAS INVESCO Field at Mile High 2:15 p.m. MDT FOX
5 Sun. Oct. 11 NEW ENGLAND INVESCO Field at Mile High 2:15 p.m. MDT KKTV (CBS)
6 Mon. Oct. 19 at San Diego Qualcomm Stadium 5:30 p.m. PDT ESPN (NTL)
8 Sun. Nov. 1 at Baltimore M&T Bank Stadium 1 p.m. EST KKTV (CBS)
9 Mon. Nov. 9 PITTSBURGH INVESCO Field at Mile High 6:30 p.m. MST ESPN (NTL)
10 Sun. Nov. 15 at Washington FedEx Field 1 p.m. EST KKTV (CBS)
11 Sun. Nov. 22 SAN DIEGO INVESCO Field at Mile High 2:15 p.m. MST KKTV (CBS)*
12 Thu. Nov. 26 N.Y. GIANTS INVESCO Field at Mile High 6:20 p.m. MST NFLN (NTL)
13 Sun. Dec. 6 at Kansas City Arrowhead Stadium 12 p.m. CST KKTV (CBS)*
14 Sun. Dec. 13 at Indianapolis Lucas Oil Stadium 1 p.m. EST KKTV (CBS)*
15 Sun. Dec. 20 OAKLAND INVESCO Field at Mile High 2:05 p.m. MST KKTV (CBS)*
16 Sun. Dec. 27 at Philadelphia Lincoln Financial Field 1 p.m. EST KKTV (CBS)*
17 Sun. Jan. 3 KANSAS CITY INVESCO Field at Mile High 2:15 p.m. MST KKTV (CBS)*
* - All NFL games scheduled for Sundays from Weeks 11-17 are eligible to be moved to the Sunday night game, which is televised nationally by NBC.
(NTL) denotes nationally televised game
NOTES ON THE BRONCOS’ 2009 REGULAR-SEASON SCHEDULE
* - The Broncos begin their season on the road for a club-record fifth year in a row at Cincinnati on Sunday, Sept. 13. The Bengals are Denver’s most common opponent in season openers with the Broncos posting a 5-2 record in those contests. Denver last faced Cincinnati in its season opener on Sept. 7, 2003, when it earned a 30-10 road victory.
* - The Broncos open their divisional slate against the Raiders for the third year in a row on Sunday, Sept. 27, in Oakland. The Raiders are Denver’s only AFC West opponent in its first five games of the season. The second half of Denver’s schedule features four divisional matchups in its final seven games, including three home AFC West contests.
* - Denver hosts New England on Sunday, Oct. 11, when Head Coach Josh McDaniels will face his former team for the first time. McDaniels was a member of the Patriots’ coaching staff from 2001-08, helping the club win three Super Bowls, and spent the last three years as New England’s offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach.
* - The Broncos’ two Monday Night Football games (at San Diego on Oct. 19 and vs. Pittsburgh on Nov. 9) mark the 18th year in a row the club will make at least one appearance on the program. That is the longest active streak in the NFL and the fourth-longest such streak since the first Monday Night Football game was played in 1970. The Broncos’ two Monday night outings represent the third year in a row they are scheduled for multiple Monday night games (2007 – 3; 2008 – 2; 2009 – 2).
* - The Broncos’ Monday night game at San Diego on Oct. 19 marks the second year in a row the club enters its bye week following a Monday night game. Denver’s bye week this year is set for Week 7 (Oct. 26).
* - Following its bye week, Denver will face the 2008 AFC Championship Game participants in back-to-back contests. The Broncos visit Baltimore on Sunday, Nov. 1, before hosting the Super Bowl XLIII-champion Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 9 on Monday Night Football (second MNF appearance in three games for Denver).
* - Denver visits FedEx Field to face Washington on Sunday, Nov. 15, for the first time since 1998 when the Broncos defeated the Redskins 38-16. The game will mark eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey’s first appearance against the team that drafted him seventh overall in the 1999 NFL Draft.
* - Denver’s divisional home opener against San Diego on Nov. 22 (Game 10) marks the latest in the season the club has hosted its first divisional opponent since 1999 (Game 11).
* - The Broncos will host a Thanksgiving game for the first time in 46 seasons and only the third time in club history when they play the New York Giants on Thursday, Nov. 26, at 6:20 p.m. MST at INVESCO Field at Mile High on NFL Network. The Broncos last played at home on Thanksgiving on Nov. 28, 1963, when they lost 26-10 to Oakland at Bears Stadium. The game will mark Denver’s 11th all-time appearance on Thanksgiving, including its third in the last five seasons, with the club owning a 3-7 all-time record on the holiday.
* - Denver makes its first-ever trip to two of the three current stadiums in the league in which it has never played when it visits Indianapolis (Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 13) and Philadelphia (Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, Dec. 27).
* - The Broncos’ game against the Eagles marks the return of seven-time Pro Bowl safety Brian Dawkins to Philadelphia, where he played his first 13 NFL seasons before signing with the Broncos as an unrestricted free agent on Feb. 28.
* - Denver’s regular-season schedule features seven games against six clubs that qualified for the playoffs last year. Its regular-season opponents had a combined record of 122-132-2 (.480) in 2008.
* - Denver’s regular-season schedule features eight of the past nine Super Bowl winners—New England (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX), Baltimore (XXXV), Pittsburgh (XL, XLIII), N.Y. Giants (XLII) and Indianapolis (XLI).