Broncos Wire podcast: Raiders game reaction, Commanders game preview

Well, that certainly wasn’t how we hoped to begin the 2023 NFL season.

The Denver Broncos lost to the Las Vegas Raiders 17-16 in frustrating fashion in Week 1. On this week’s Broncos Wire podcast with host Ryan O’Leary, we react to the season opener before previewing next week’s showdown with the Washington Commanders.

You can listen to episode 84 below:

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Our unedited notes for this week’s pod can be seen below. 

Broncos lose to Raiders 17-16 in season opener 

  • Same score Denver lost by to Seattle last year

Some positives on offense 

  • Russell Wilson looked more comfortable to me and he was good throwing on the run (would have liked to see more PA in second half of game). He spread the ball around, targeting 11 different WRs

  • Offense only scored 16 points, but that was three scores on six drives and they missed a field goal that would have made it 4 scores on 6 drives

  • Long, time-consuming drives made it a low-scoring game

  • Good to see Javonte Williams back healthy: 13 carries for 52 yards

  • With Jerry Jeudy (hamstring) inactive, Lil’Jordan Humphrey was elevated from PS and stepped up at WR. I wouldn’t be surprised if Humphrey ends up on the 53

Some negatives on defense 

  • Overall, allowing 17 points isn’t the end of the world, but Denver’s defense had some disappointing moments including …

  • Allowing the Raiders to run out the clock to win the game. Big factor was Kareem Jackson‘s penalty hit on WR Jakobi Meyers.

  • Absolutely no pass rush at all. The Broncos attributed that to game flow (Raiders running) and Jimmy G getting the ball out quickly, but there was no pressure from Randy Gregory and Co.

Mostly negatives on special teams 

  • Sean Payton opened the game with an onside kick. Don’t hate the idea! It would have worked if Tremon Smith didn’t touch it inches before it went 10 yards. Penalty negated eventual recovery and the Raiders went on to score a TD and took an early 7-0 lead.

  • Will Lutz.

  • Lutz missed a PAT then missed a 55-yard field goal. He later converted a PAT and made a 24-yard field goal, but his two missed kicks could have added 4 points in a game ultimately decided by 1 point.

  • Meanwhile, Brandon McManus went 5-of-5 with the Jaguars (1 FG and 4 PATs).

  • One positive on ST: Riley Dixon only punted twice, a nice improvement from Denver’s average of 5.6 punts per game last season.

What’s next?

The Broncos are set to host the Washington Commanders in Week 2. Despite coming off a loss, Denver is considered a 3.5-point favorite at home.

  • Seems reasonable because while the Commanders did win on Sunday, they beat the lowly Cardinals, who are the favorite for the first overall pick in 2024.

  • Sam Howell will be making just his third career start in the NFL. Broncos better generate more pressure this week and fluster him. Washington has a trio of talented WRs so Denver’s secondary will be tested.

  • Chase Young (neck) not expected to play, good news for the Broncos’ offensive line.

Ryan and I will return each week during the season to react to every game.

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Story originally appeared on Broncos Wire