DENVER — Even before throwing one pass Peyton Manning has impacted the 2012 Broncos schedule and in doing so has created some interesting and unusual scenarios.
As a parting gift from Mr. Tim Tebow, leading the Broncos to the playoffs has resulted in the 2nd most difficult schedule in the entire NFL. Their opponents 2011 winning percentage is .543, second only to the Super Bowl champion NY Giants with that of .547. The Broncos will face seven teams who made the playoffs last year, meeting six of them in the first eight games.
They will appear on prime time nationally televised games an unprecedented five times with two Monday Night games and a Thursday night game – which is not necessarily a good thing.
Three of those night games are on the road, which result in some very early Monday morning arrivals. In week two they play a Monday night game in Atlanta and have a short practice week before taking on a very tough Oilers team at home the next Sunday.
Following a home game versus The Buccaneers in week thirteen they play the rival Raiders on Thursday night in Oakland.
How many of those national night games would there be if Tim Tebow was still at quarterback? Hard to say, but one thing is clear. Whereas making the playoffs again may have been enough with Tebow at the helm, with Manning, anything short of the Super Bowl will be a disappointment.