The NFL schedule-makers did the Denver Broncos a huge favor this season. By front-loading all the best teams in the first five weeks while Peyton Manning was adjusting to a new system, the Broncos have been coasting through an easy schedule since. While last Sunday's 34-17 defeat of Baltimore wasn't over an easy opponent, their upcoming games (at home, no less) against the Browns and Chiefs have the Broncos thinking 13 wins and a first-round bye.
Manning has been superb in his first season back after a series neck surgeries sidelined him for all of 2011. The future Hall of Fame QB has 31 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions this season, making fantasy studs out of wide receivers Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas. If the Broncos win out, Denver will host a playoff game in the Divisional Round.
Even with the Redskins ending their three-game winning streak on Sunday, the Browns still have a chance to notch their highest win total since 2007. That Browns team won 10 games, but the team has failed to win six or more games in every season since. Rookie Brandon Weeden is second among rookies in the NFL in passing yards and is tied with Russell Wilson for least sacks taken by a rookie. Yes, I'm grasping at straws, but we're talking about the Browns here.
Here's the rest of the NFL schedule for Week 16:
Saturday, December 22
- Raiders at Panthers, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Bills at Dolphins, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Bengals at Steelers, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Patriots at Jaguars, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Colts at Chiefs, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Saints at Cowboys, 1 p.m. ET, FOX
- Redskins at Eagles, 1 p.m. ET, FOX
- Rams at Buccaneers, 1 p.m. ET, FOX
- Chargers at Jets, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Titans at Packers, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
- Vikings at Texans, 1 p.m. ET, FOX
- Browns at Broncos, 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS
- Bears at Cardinals, 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX
- Giants at Ravens, 4:25 p.m. ET, FOX
- 49ers at Seahawks, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC