3 keys for the Broncos to beat the Raiders in Week 1

The Denver Broncos open their 2023-24 regular season by hosting their AFC West rival Las Vegas Raiders ... How can they start the season with a dub?

Las Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos
Las Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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The 2023-24 NFL season is just around the corner, as on September 7, the Kansas City Chiefs host the Detroit Lions on Thursday night to kick off the regular season. That means that the Broncos are playing their first official game of the season this upcoming weekend.

Denver will open their 2023-24 campaign by hosting their AFC West rival Las Vegas Raiders, in Empower Field at Mile High. The last time the Broncos defeated the Raiders, was in 2019, after a game-winning pass deflection by Shelby Harris in a Raiders' two-point conversion attempt. That game was played in Denver.

This time it will be a different story, as the Broncos will have their first game under Sean Payton as their head coach, and the Raiders will have their first game with their new franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, after nine seasons of Derek Carr as their QB. It will also be the first regular season game with the new stadium renovations, and a game against former Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels, who had an 11-17 win-loss record in Denver.

The last time Garoppolo played in Denver, the Broncos won the game 11-10 against the 49ers, and Jimmy had 211 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, and was sacked four times (the second most in the games he played last year), now he reunites with McDaniels, and will have his Raiders debut in Denver...

With that being said, here are three main keys for the Broncos to start their season with a win, by beating the Raiders ...

1. Find a way to slow/stop Josh Jacobs:

Following the franchise-tag deadline, it was reported that Raiders star running back Josh Jacobs was holding out of camp, and probably for some regular season games, if the team did not find a way to give him a contract extension or a way to trade him to a team that was willing to pay him. That was great news for the Broncos, as he was probably not playing week one against them, but a few weeks ago, he received a new deal from Las Vegas and ended his holdout, which means that he will play week one against the Broncos.

Jacobs has played in seven games against the Denver Broncos and he has destroyed them. He has 154 carries for 721 yards and 9 touchdowns against the Broncos, which is 15.21% of his career rushing yards, and 22.5% of his career rushing touchdowns. Josh has six out of nine 100+ yard games against the Broncos, one of the only three teams he has an average of 100+ rushing yards/game.

With that being said, I think that one of the main, if not the main key for the Broncos to beat the Raiders is to find a way to slow/stop Jacobs because he is a very important offensive weapon for Las Vegas, especially with the loss of Pro Bowl TE Darren Waller, and with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback.