Most of the time, an NFL preseason is an exercise in substitutions and an attempt to walk the line between getting the starters some work without exposing them to too much injury risk.
But for the Denver Broncos in 2013, an August trip to Seattle turned out to be a preview of things to come long before the team had re-written plenty of single-season records on offense or a Super Bowl trip was on the docket. The Seahawks, looking far more motivated, interested and intense on that summer night, drubbed the Broncos 40-10 in a preseason game.
It was an effort so bad that Hall of Fame quarterback turned general manager John Elway gave the Broncos players an earful.
The Seahawks, looking far more motivated, interested and intense, also trounced the Broncos six months later, 43-8, in Super Bowl XLVIII. And while it’s way too early to tell if the Broncos have truly positioned themselves for another Super Bowl run, they believe they have with their splurge in free agency, Peyton Manning at quarterback and the May draft still to go.
But with the formal release of their preseason schedule Wednesday, the Broncos will once again get to kick the tires against some of the more physical teams they will also face in the regular season.
With the NFC West teams on the regular-season schedule as well, the Broncos will open the preseason against the Seahawks in Denver between Aug. 7 and Aug. 10 – specific dates will be announced later. It will be the first time the Broncos have opened the preseason at home since 1997.
The Broncos will then face the 49ers in San Francisco between Aug. 14 and Aug. 18. The Broncos will also face the Seahawks and 49ers in the regular season with that schedule set for release later this month.
The Broncos will face the Houston Texans under first-year coach Bill O’Brien, between Aug. 21 and Aug. 24 before they conclude the preseason in Arlington, Texas, Aug. 28 against the Cowboys.
The trip to San Francisco will be the Broncos’ 36th preseason meeting against the 49ers all time, most of any opponent in the franchise's history.