The Broncos have once again requested they open the 2011 season at home according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post. It can happen, but probably only if they play on Monday night, September 12th.
Here’s the situation: The Broncos’ 2 p.m. home starts conflict on week 1 Sundays with CBS’ (the AFC’s network) coverage of the U.S. Open tennis tourney. So there was little NFL schedule maker Howard Katz and company could do but send the Broncos on the road for week 1. The Broncos have gone 3-3 in their last six road/season openers: Losing at Miami and St. Louis, winning at Buffalo, Oakland, and Cincinnati, and losing at Jacksonville.
But the Broncos are hoping the league realizes a six-year drought is too long. The NFL has been scheduling two Monday night games for its opening week since 2006 and Denver is a strong contender to get one of them when the 2011 regular-season schedule is announced in the next eight days or so.
And if ESPN is going to pull a decent national rating for a prime-time game featuring the 4-12 Broncos, it might encourage an AFC West division rival as an opponent (Oakland, Kansas City, San Diego), or the return of Jay Cutler (Chicago Bears).