The Denver Broncos are facing an uphill battle in 2024 for multiple reasons.

First and foremost, they are in the middle of a complete rebuild. Sean Payton has already rebuilt the wide receiver room with tall, talented players, but the rest of the team still needs work.

They’ll have rookie quarterback Bo Nix leading the offense, and multiple new starers on the defense.

On top of all that, the Denver Broncos have the NFL’s 8th-toughest schedule in 2024. And that’s not even counting rest disparity.

Denver Broncos have 17 days less rest than opponents in 2024

The NFL has been tweaking their scheduling over the last few years, and some are starting to wonder if it’s hurting the product on the field.

According to Warren Sharp, the disparity in rest days between games is the worst it’s ever been for the 2024 season.

What is rest disparity? It’s the difference in how many days of rest one team will have versus their opponents.

For instance: Let’s say the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs are set to play on a Sunday in Week 2. The Chiefs actually play on the Thursday before kickoff weekend, and Denver plays on NFL Kickoff Sunday. In that case, Kansas City would have 9 days between games, while Denver would have 7, giving the Chiefs a 2-day advantage in rest.

Here’s a real-life example from Sharp for the 2024 season:

Another example illustrating NFL rest edges: this year the Dolphins play the Raiders in Week 11. The prior week, Week 10, the Dolphins play the Rams on Monday Night Football. This puts them on only six days of rest between games.

But the Raiders’ prior game isn’t in Week 10 but in Week 9, as they are on a bye in Week 10 and are off an extra week of rest.

Therefore, the Raiders have 8 days extra rest compared to the Dolphins (7 for the extra week plus 1 because the Dolphins are playing off MNF).

This year, the Baltimore Ravens have the highest rest disparity, at +16 days more than their opponents. The worst goes to San Francisco, who has -21 days of rest compared to opposing teams. The Denver Broncos are tied for second worst with Indianapolis, who each have -17 days of rest.

That differential is 37 days more of rest for Baltimore than San Francisco. Considering the NFL season is so short, that’s a possible huge advantage for the Ravens. And a definite disadvantage for teams on the opposite end of the spectrum, like Denver.

Here’s a look at it visually:

NFL rest disparity graph. From

Notice, Denver has five games this season in which they will have at least 3 days less of rest than opponents. And one of those is a full week.

Of course, having extra rest isn’t a guarantee that team will win. But teams playing on a short week usually struggle on Thursday Night Football, which is why that week’s game is regularly the worst of the week in the NFL.

Add in the Denver Broncos have a late, Week 14 bye, and this 2024 schedule is stacking against them. That’s no excuse, as Payton and the Broncos will be expected to take a step forward, even with all the changeover.