The NFL clearly views the Denver Broncos as one of the marquee teams this season, with the schedule that was released today showing that the league office wants Peyton Manning on national television as often as possible.
We already noted that the Broncos open the season at home against the Steelers on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, but it turns out that the Broncos actually have their first two games in prime time: In Week Two Denver is at Atlanta on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
But the game that could be among the biggest of the entire 2012 NFL regular season is in Week Five, when Manning and the Broncos visit Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. When Manning’s Colts played the Patriots it was often the NFL’s most-watched game of the season, and now Manning’s Broncos against the Patriots may be as well. That Week Five contest is a Sunday afternoon game on CBS.
The Broncos have another Monday night prime time game against the Chargers Week Six, a Sunday night prime time game against the Saints Week Eight, and a Thursday night prime time game against the Raiders Week 14.