DENVER — The Broncos received an interesting gift on Tuesday.
Their Secret Santa revealed that they will face the defending champion Los Angeles Rams on Christmas Day at SoFi Stadium.
The game will be broadcast at 2:30 p.m. MT on CBS and simulcast on Nickelodeon.
The NFL has turned the release of its schedule into a two-week event. Denver learned last week it will face the Jacksonville Jaguars as the visiting team at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 30, their first regular-season appearance in London since 2010.
It also means the Broncos will not open the season vs. the Rams on Thursday night. They were viewed as a strong candidate along with favorites Buffalo and Dallas.
Denver has never played a Christmas game at home, traveling to Detroit in 1999, Tennessee in 2004 and Kansas City in 2016. The Broncos won the first two, but the Chiefs throttled them in 2016 as coach Gary Kubiak retired, a mile post event in Denver posting six straight seasons without a playoff berth.
The expectation remains that will change this season under new coach Nathaniel Hackett and led by star quarterback Russell Wilson. Wilson's arrival has made the Broncos a marquee team again, a status they held for two decades with John Elway — two Super Bowl crowns — and Peyton Manning — a Super Bowl 50 title — under center.
Denver has never won in SoFi, falling twice to the Los Angeles Chargers. The Rams boast one of the league's best teams and a prolific offense fueled by quarterback Matthew Stafford and receiver Cooper Kupp. In his first season with the Rams, Stafford led the Rams to a Super Bowl crown, something Broncos Country would love for Wilson to duplicate in Denver.
Denver's full schedule will be announced at 6 p.m. local time on Thursday.