The hopes and dreams of the NFL offseason are about to go the way of the dinosaur for Broncos Country and Raider Nation.
This weekend we kick off the season with the two basement dwellers of the AFC West circa 2022 and see which team is going to be one step closer to getting out of said basement and back into NFL relevancy.
With both teams, there’s been so much overhaul that it is hard to base any kind of prediction on the past. The core of both teams is still made up of the same players from last season so it is at least worth mentioning. Last season’s Broncos had a terrible offense and a solid defense. The Las Vegas Raiders had the reverse with a decent offense (largely due to a solid running game led by “Broncos Killer” Josh Jacobs) and a poor defense.
The Raiders have been busy revamping their defense and completely swapping out their starting QB from Derek Carr and Darren Waller to Jimmy Garoppolo and the mighty Austin Hooper(?). While I do think their defense should be improved, I think their offense is going to take a solid step back in its passing game. They lost more than they gained at QB and TE.
With the Denver Broncos, the coaching change alone should help the offense take a much needed forward step (or two...not because of Sean Payton, but because of just how awful Nathaniel Hackett “coached” the offense). With the Broncos revamping their roster (especially up front on offense), they should be much more capable in scoring points.
With the Broncos defense, Broncos Country is hoping that Vance Joseph just steps in and keeps the ship sailing. I’m not necessarily sold on that, though and think our defense may take a small step back this season.
Things will likely be a bit ugly week 1. Look for some bad drives and turnovers by both teams. But I think Payton is the kind of coach who will scheme some big scores that will get the Broncos over the top.
Broncos 24 - Raiders 17
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