Denver Broncos now face must-win game early in season
Reeling from consecutive losses, the Denver Broncos (3-2) now face the Las Vegas Raiders (3-2) in Week 6 of the 2021 season.
Though there is still a long way to go this season, the Broncos 3-0 start is now nothing more than a distant memory and they have to regroup and find a way to win this Sunday.
The problem is, the Raiders are going to be in the same exact position. They too jumped out to a 3-0 start and following back-to-back losses, that seems like a long time ago. On top of that, their season is ready to fall off the rails following the breaking news that the team has moved on from head coach Jon Gruden.
The Broncos will be the first opponent for whomever is named as the team’s interim head coach and quite frankly, the Broncos need to take full advantage of that. The Raiders will be facing a week of turmoil while having to prepare for a Broncos team hungry for a win.
The other thing that makes this a must-win game, aside from what has already been mentioned is the fact that the game will be played at Empower Field. The Raiders beat the Broncos in Denver in the season finale last year but prior to that, the Broncos had won four in a row against them at home.
The team needs to start a new winning streak against the Raiders as the team that loses this game will start to lose major ground in the AFC West race with the way the Los Angeles Chargers are playing.
But let’s assume the Broncos drop a third game in a row to a Raiders team that would go to 4-2 with a victory. The Broncos would drop to 3-3 and be looking at a road trip to Cleveland for Thursday Night Football. Having to play the Browns on a short week won’t be easy.
Following that contest, the next four games for the team look like this:
Week 8 vs. Washington Football Team
Week 9 at Dallas Cowboys
Week 10 vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Week 12 vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Broncos’ future opponents are playing at a high level
That is a difficult schedule and both the Chargers and Cowboys are playing as well as any teams in the league. Both Washington and Philadelphia will provide challenges of their own, so heading into the final stretch of the season, it would not be difficult at all to see the Broncos sitting their with a 5-6 or 4-7 record following this stretch of games.
That is not going to get it done, particularly when the last portion of the schedule is not going to be easy either.
The Raiders looked like a strong contender early this season but much like the Broncos, that has unraveled quickly. The loser of this game is going to be pretty much written off as far as the rest of this season goes.
The Broncos need to make sure that fate falls on the Raiders.