The Denver Broncos will open the 2023 regular season at home against the Las Vegas Raiders and it might just be the biggest ‘statement game’ that Sean Payton could have early on in his tenure. They were swept by the Raiders last year... and the two prior years as well. In fact, the last time Denver beat the Raiders was in 2019. Under normal circumstances, that would be considered a significant drought against a division rival. If not for the fact that Denver hasn’t beaten the Kansas City Chiefs since 2015.
That’s why this could be the perfect statement-type game for Payton. The Raiders are nowhere near the Chiefs level, so taking care of business against a team expected to lose 10+ games under the likely soon-to-be fired Josh McDaniels would be just what the doctor ordered for Broncos Country.
In our SB Nation Reacts survey this week, we asked if you thought Denver would win this game and 82% of your said yes. That’s some pretty damn good confidence for a fanbase coming out of the horrific 2022 season.
In a follow up question, I wanted to see where fans felt Russell Wilson was on his career resurrection arc. Knowing 82% of you picked a win, that suggests many of those also went for the 3 or more touchdown passes. I personally voted two with the win, but no doubt some in that category went with a loss for some reason.
The 2023 Broncos are clearly gearing up to be a run-oriented team with an opportunistic passing attack. That should lead to some big plays from Wilson and some touchdowns in the passing game, but overall, I think the touchdowns should come mostly from the ground game.
Look at me. Talking like the 2023 season is already a success. I do it every year and by early October I’m preparing for the worst. Here’s to 2023 being different, folks! Go Broncos!