Denver Broncos 2020 NFL schedule: 5 must-win games

Vic Fangio, Denver Broncos. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Vic Fangio, Denver Broncos. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /
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Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans
Mike Vrabel, Tennessee Titans. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

Tennessee Titans. 4. Scouting Report. Home. Pick Analysis. Empower Field at Mile High. player. 35

While the Broncos are poised to be a playoff-caliber team next year, they need to hold serve in their second-place schedule that rounds out competitive balance. No, we can’t reasonably expect Denver to go into Heinz Field and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, a win at home vs. the Tennessee Titans is totally in play.

Tennessee is favored to win the AFC South, something the Titans haven’t done in over a decade. They have a great defense and an emerging offense led by running back Derrick Henry, quarterback Ryan Tannehill and wide receiver A.J. Brown. Though the Titans should be a playoff team again next season, it feels a bit like a schedule loss when the take on the Broncos at altitude.

The best way for the Broncos to be a game or two better than .500 is to take care of business at home, even if that is against a quality opponent like the Titans. As with the Buffalo Bills, they could win their respective division, which wouldn’t really have that much of an impact on the Broncos’ playoff chances. However, what if a team like the Indianapolis Colts wins the AFC South?

The playoff field may have expanded in both conferences, but there are still only three Wild Card spots available in the AFC. We have to believe the Broncos are more likely to be a Wild Card team than a division champion. Having the head-to-head tiebreaker over a playoff-caliber team like the Titans will go a long way in Denver reaching the postseason for the first time in five years.