3 Denver Broncos to watch Week 1 against Las Vegas Raiders

The Denver Broncos already have a very crucial divisional matchup in Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season. Which players should be watching out for in this game?

Denver Broncos v San Francisco 49ers
Denver Broncos v San Francisco 49ers / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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2. Javonte Williams

Javonte Williams is apparently 100% from his torn ACL that he suffered against the Raiders in the 2022 NFL season. His recovery has been way ahead of schedule and Williams even played in the preseason. There's also some added pressure on this run game since Denver figures to be a run-first team. Their offseason moves on offense indicate that they plan on running the snot out of the rock.

Well, I am eager to see how Javonte Williams looks in his first regular-season action since last October. Reports indicate that the Broncos are going to limit his workload a bit, but what if Williams doesn't need those limitations to be in place? What if he is truly ready to resume his RB1 duties? I think simply by the nature of his contract, we'll always see Samaje Perine get carries.

Perine is not a good running back in my opinion and I think Denver could have signed someone else in free agency. However, Perine is good as a pass protector and can catch passes, but I don't trust him much as a runner. Perine is likely going to get close to, if not more carries than Williams in the early part of the season, but I bet Javonte Williams presses the issue some.

If the former second-round pick is at his best, he's arguably the best pure runner in football. He can break tackles better than any other RB in the NFL and is someone that opposing defense doesn't want to have to deal with. The run game is going to make or break this offense in my opinion, so I believe that there is a ton of pressure on Javonte Williams to return to his old self.

Denver also didn't sign Ezekiel Elliott or Dalvin Cook, nor did they trade for Jonathan Taylor, so that tells me that there is a ton of belief in the RB room.