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Added August 14th, 2012 by Chalk
NFL

2012 NFL Predictions & Preview: Denver Broncos 9-7

With the NFL regular season fast approaching, we at SportsUntapped are taking our crystal balls out of storage and examining each team’s full 16-game schedule to prognosticate how the 2012 season will play out. We’ll look at all 32 teams and reveal each one’s final record. Next up: Peyton Manning and his new team, the defending AFC West champion Denver Broncos.

DENVER BRONCOS

Last year’s record: 8-8.

Vegas Over/Under on 2012 Regular Season Wins: 9

First four games:
Sep 9 Pittsburgh 8:20 pm
Sep 17 @Atlanta 8:30 pm
Sep 23 Houston 4:25 pm
Sep 30 Oakland 4:05 pm

It’s hard not to expect some rust from Peyton Manning after missing all of last season, and Denver’s schedule first half schedule is pretty brutal with all eight games against teams that were 8-8 or better last season. I think the Steelers get revenge on the opening Sunday night for last season’s Tebow wild card miracle, and the Broncos will drop at least one of the next three for a 2-2 mark after the first month of the season.

Second four games:
Oct 7 @New England 4:25 pm
Oct 15 @San Diego 8:30 pm
Week 7 BYE
Oct 28 New Orleans 8:20 pm
Nov 4 @Cincinnati 1:00 pm

The Tebow Broncos got blown out twice by the Patriots, so Manning’s version might be able to get closer but probably won’t win that one on the road. Denver has also four primetime games in its first seven, so they better be able to play well in the spotlight. I think it’s going to be tough for them to win more than two of these four, so we’ll put them down for a 4-4 first half.

First four games of the second half:

Nov 11 @Carolina 1:00 pm
Nov 18 San Diego 4:25 pm
Nov 25 @Kansas City 1:00 pm
Dec 2 Tampa Bay 4:05 pm

The schedule softens up a bit to start the second half, so this is probably where the Broncos start to gel and make a run. We see them at 7-5 coming down the home stretch.

Last four games:

Dec 6 @Oakland 8:20 pm
Dec 16 @Baltimore 1:00 pm
Dec 23 Cleveland 4:05 pm
Dec 30 Kansas City 4:25 pm

One game separated all four AFC West teams last season, so how well Manning does in his first year in Denver will probably come down to those six division games. I think the Broncos still lose two of their last four for a slight improvement on last year at 9-7.

 
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