NEW YORK — The Broncos will host the Carolina Panthers to kick off the 2016 NFL season on Thursday night, Sept. 8 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
It will be a rematch of Super Bowl 50, which the Broncos won, 24-10, on Feb. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif., for the third championship in franchise history and first in 17 years. The Broncos will open at home for the sixth consecutive year and it’s the first time since 1970 there will be a Super Bowl rematch in Week 1.
The Broncos will play the maximum five prime-time games: Three on Sunday night, two on Thursday night and one on Monday night. The Broncos will appear on “Monday Night Football” for the 69th time and for the 25th consecutive year, extending the NFL’s longest active streak.
The Broncos will play home games against their three AFC West rivals — Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders — as well as the New England Patriots, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons and the Panthers.
Their road games will be against the three AFC West teams as well as the Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
As defending Super Bowl champions, the Broncos get to host the NFL opener. They hosted the NFL opener in 2013 even though the Baltimore Ravens were the defending champions. But because of a conflict with a Baltimore Orioles game, the Ravens couldn’t play at home, so the game was moved to Denver.
The Broncos will play at Kansas City on Christmas night, the third time they will play on Dec. 25. The Broncos won their two previous Christmas games, in 2004 (37-16 at Tennessee) and 1999 (17-7 at Detroit).
Broncos 2016 schedule
Thursday, Sept. 8: vs. Carolina Panthers, 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 18: vs. Indianapolis Colts, 2:25 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 25: at Cincinnati Bengals, 11 a.m.
Sunday, Oct. 2: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2:05 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 9: vs. Atlanta Falcons, 2:05 p.m. on FOX31 Denver
Thursday, Oct. 13: at San Diego Chargers, 6:25 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 24: vs. Houston Texans, 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 30: vs. San Diego Chargers, 2:05 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 6: at Oakland Raiders, 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 13: at New Orleans Saints 11 a.m.
Week 11 Bye
Sunday, Nov. 27: vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 2:25 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 4: at Jacksonville Jaguars, 11 a.m.
Sunday, Dec. 11: at Tennessee Titans 11 a.m.
Sunday, Dec. 18: vs. New England Patriots, 2:25 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 25: at Kansas City Chiefs 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 1: vs. Oakland Raiders, 2:25 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 11: at Chicago Bears, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 20: vs. San Francisco 49ers, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 27: vs. Los Angeles Rams, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 1: at Arizona Cardinals, 7:30 p.m.