Week 1 for the Denver Broncos is finally here and what a way to open the regular season - at home against the hated Las Vegas Raiders who are led by an even more hated Josh McDaniels. Every week, we’ll be coming at you with our Mile High Report staff predictions for each and every game.
As far as those Week 1 score predictions, all of us are obviously predicting a victory. This optimism is typical of a Week 1 for us, but I personally feel like this time is different. We’ll have to wait and see if I’m just an idiot for thinking that again. Collectively, we’re predicting a 26-17 Broncos beatdown of the McDaniels-led Raiders. I support this.
Here is how we see things playing out individually.
Broncos 27, Raiders 20
Sean Payton shows he is no Nathaniel Hackett and puts away the hapless Raiders head coach, Josh McDaniels. The score ends up a little closer due to a late score, but the Broncos remain in control all game long in front of an electric Mile High crowd. Getting off to a 1-0 start with a win at home against an AFC West rival is absolutely vital for Payton and the Broncos here. A loss would likely immediately set the narrative in a negative direction and that is something this team cannot afford. Losing is a mentality and its a mentality this franchise has developed in recent years. The only way to cure this is by winning early and often. - Tim Lynch
Broncos 35, Raiders 10
Editor’s Note: Jess Place and I recorded an off the cuff podcast on Friday and he gave his score prediction and it was just too good not to share. I’ll take a 35-10 drubbing of the Raiders every single damn day.
Broncos 24, Raiders 17
After last season it would be a very welcome outcome if the Broncos are actually able to win a one-score game, and against a divisional opponent nonetheless. Denver has objectively gotten better this year. A new and absolutely better coach, a better defense, a better offensive line, and likely a better quarterback.
The Raiders got worse. A worse quarterback, a worse defense, especially with the Chandler Jones situation, and the longer Mike McD coaches, probably the worse that situation gets. - Ross Allen
Broncos 27, Raiders 24
The Broncos have lost six games in a row to the Raiders. That’s simply unacceptable. If the franchise wants to get back to their winning ways, taking care of business in the AFC West against their rivals is a must. Stopping Josh Jacobs will be key in order for the Broncos to achieve a victory this weekend. Sean Payton was hired to change the team’s culture and re-establish their winning tradition. Notching a ‘W’ against Las Vegas on Sunday will be a step forward in the right direction and help make those aspirations possible. - Christopher Hart
Broncos 23, Raiders 17
There can’t be a much better opportunity for this Broncos offense to get started on the right foot than facing the Raiders’ defense. There’s definitely a pass rush threat, but Las Vegas’s secondary and run defense should be eminently exploitable. Sean Payton, Russell Wilson, & company just need to deliver. On the other side of the matchup, Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t particularly threatening to this Broncos secondary. The passing game may well come down to containing Davante Adams. But that’s also offset by Josh Jacobs facing a relatively weak Broncos defensive line. Denver will need to see some great work out of Josey Jewell & his crew of inside linebackers to keep the Raiders trailing. - Taylor Kothe
Broncos 23, Raiders 10
The Broncos defense dominates in this one and makes life miserable for quarterback Jimmy G. by sacking him multiple times and forcing multiple turnovers. Running back Josh Jacobs will prove to be a non-factor as he is easing back into action and defensive coordinator Vance Joseph will have a solid home-coming in week one. On offense, it will look like a work in progress, but the Broncos run game will be good as we see all three backs make plays as well as quarterback Russell Wilson who will run one in for a score and throw a touchdown pass to tight end Greg Dulcich. Broncos win, Raiders suck. - Scotty Payne
Broncos 27, Raiders 14
For all the details listen to Something, Something Broncos wherever you get your podcasts! - Mike DeCicco
Broncos 17, Raiders 13
Give me that under. The Broncos will be better this season, and breaking the losing streak to the Raiders is the perfect way to start things. But let’s not get too carried away. There is a long road back to prominence. We still don’t know what Russ will be under Sean Payton. We have no idea if the offense is going to click right away. They find a way to win, but it’s close and low scoring. - Adam Malnati
Broncos 24, Raiders 20
It feels almost dirty to project the Broncos to score more than 20 points after what we witnessed last season, but Sean Payton is not Nathaniel Hackett and will have the team ready. I still anticipate the offense to move about slower than we’d like to see, but Payton will put the guys in position to win. On the defensive side, Vance Joseph hopes to be the next Wade Phillips and become a great defensive coordinator for a team where he was once head coach. The key will be stopping Josh Jacobs, who has eaten the Broncos alive in recent years, but VJ’s game plan will limit him just enough. The six-fans win streak ends. - Nick Burch
Broncos 31, Raiders 24
Yes, I know it’s been so long since the Denver offense scored 31 points that it looks like a mirage. Oops, did I mean 13? But I have complete faith in Sean Payton and his offense. I also think Russell Wilson and the Broncos can take advantage of a bad Loss Vegas defense. Denver gets the season, and the Payton era, started with a nice win. - Ian St. Clair