Both the Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos have made moves at quarterback in the last couple of years with the Raiders moving on from Derek Carr and acquiring Jimmy Garoppolo during the offseason. Denver gave up quite a bit of draft capital to acquire former Super Bowl-winning QB Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks.
Raiders second-year head coach Josh McDaniels was just 11-17 in less than two seasons as the Broncos’ head coach before being fired in 2010. Denver welcomes former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton to town.
This will be the 126th meeting between the AFC West rivals with the Raiders winning 70 times. The Raiders have won six straight games against the Broncos and covered in five of those matchups. Each of the last five games have been decided by 10 points or less. Denver had won four straight home games versus the Raiders before losing the last three.
The Broncos are favored by 3½ points with a total of 44½ set at the current time.
Denver is priced at +450 in the odds to win the AFC West team with the Raiders having the longest odds of +1200 in the AFC West. When looking at the Super Bowl odds, the Broncos (+4000) are 10th among AFC teams with the Raiders (+5000) coming in 11th among the AFC squads.
What’s Changed for the Raiders and Broncos in 2023?
The biggest change for the Raiders has come at quarterback as Carr, the starter in each of the last nine seasons, now in New Orleans. Former New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Garoppolo was brought in. Backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham is now with the Broncos.
Star tight end Darren Waller was traded to the New York Giants. Fellow tight end Foster Moreau is also gone as is receiver Mack Hollins. The Raiders added former Patriots’ receiver Jakobi Meyers and tight end Austin Hooper, who will be playing for his fourth team in the last five seasons. Receiver DeAndre Carter is another of the new pass catchers. Second-round pick Michael Mayer out of Notre Dame could play a key role as well.
The biggest addition on defense could be first-round pick Tyree Wilson from Texas Tech who will team with Maxx Crosby to give the Raiders a pair of talented pass rushers at both defensive end slots.
Defensive back David Long is another key addition on defense. He had a career-high 40 tackles during the 2021 season when he was a member of the Los Angeles Rams’ Super Bowl-winning team.
Second-leading tackle Duron Harmon, No. 3 tackler Denzel Perryman and safety Johnathan Abram will need to be placed on defense.
Running back Samaje Perine, receiver Marquez Callaway and tight end Adam Trautman have joined the Broncos. Callaway and Trautman played for new Broncos head coach Sean Payton with the New Orleans Saints. Former San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey could be one of the biggest additions in more ways than one.
The top two rushers (Latavius Murray and Melvin Gordon) are gone for the Broncos as is fellow running back Chase Edmonds.
The Broncos return their top seven tacklers off a team that allowed the seventh-fewest yards in the NFL a season ago. They will miss defensive tackle DreMont Jones. Defensive end Zach Allen was signed in free agency. The Broncos didn’t have a first-round pick due to the Wilson trade. Denver did pick former Oklahoma receiver Marvin Mims late in the second round.
Raiders vs Broncos: Where Each Team Has the Edge
The Raiders have elite players at running back (Josh Jacobs) and receiver (Davante Adams). It remains to be seen what sort of impact quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will have.
If Wilson plays like he did for much of his time with the Seattle Seahawks, the Broncos will have the edge at quarterback. Running back Javonte Williams was missed by the Denver offense when he suffered a season-ending injury.
Denver doesn’t have a receiver as good as Adams. However, the Broncos do have more depth at that position and figure to have the advantage on the offensive line as well.
Denver was a superior defensive team to the Raiders and the Broncos were able to keep most of that group together.
The Raiders should be able to rush the passer. However, there are other holes to fill considering that the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts were the only AFC teams to allow more points than the 418 surrendered by the Raiders in 2022.
Fun facts about the Las Vegas Raiders
- The Raiders have two winning seasons in the last 20 years. It is a far cry from when the franchise had 16 straight winning seasons from 1985-1980.
- The Raiders are three games under .500 since moving the franchise to Las Vegas and that includes an 11-15 record at Allegiant Stadium.
- The Raiders need three wins to hit the 500-win mark in the regular season as they are 497-458-11.
Fun facts about the Denver Broncos
- Denver has six straight losing seasons. That is the longest such streak for the franchise since a run of 10 straight seasons without a winning record ended in 1973.
- None of the players drafted by Denver in 2019 are still with the Broncos with offensive lineman Dalton Risner the last one to depart.
- Denver enters the 2023 season with exactly 500 regular-season wins. The number jumps to 523 when the playoffs are included.