3 matchups to watch for Denver Broncos Week 1 vs. Raiders

The Las Vegas Raiders come to Denver for week one of the 2023 NFL season. What are the three biggest matchups to watch?

Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos / Michael Owens/GettyImages
1 of 3

The Denver Broncos begin a new era when week one of the 2023 NFL season kicks off. They take on the Las Vegas Raiders and may have their hands full a bit. I don't think a ton of people are taking the Raiders seriously this year, but I do think they could give the Broncos fits in week one. The biggest change the team made this offseason was dumping Derek Carr for an inferior quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, who is a bit of a statue in the pocket and can't stay healthy.

The Broncos saw Jimmy G last year when he was with the San Francisco 49ers. Now, Garoppolo reunites with Josh McDaniels, who both were in New England together for a few years. Denver looks to start the season on the right foot and already has a very crucial divisional matchup. Sean Payton is now the head coach and looks to bring in a new and improved offense.

The Broncos also haven't beaten the Raiders in a few years, so week one would be a great game to start the season off on the right foot and give the Raiders one of their hopefully many losses this year. Let's dive into the three biggest matchups of this game, which could set the tone for the entire season.

3 matchups to watch for the Denver Broncos in week one against the Las Vegas Raiders

1. Denver Broncos' OL vs. Las Vegas Raiders' DL

The new-look Broncos' OL is very good on paper, but the starters did not have the best outings during the preseason. I am very curious to see how this unit plays together for the first time. Mike McGlinchey, the big-time right tackle the Broncos landed in free agency, did not play at all in the preseason because of an injury.

The Raiders run a base 4-3 defense, and their projected starters are Maxx Crosby, Jerry Tillery, Bilal Nichols, and Chandler Jones. Jones had a down year in 2022, and the only super-threatening player on this DL is Crosby, who has always given the Broncos fits. Can both Bolles and McGlinchey hold up against the two pass rushers of the Raiders, and can the Broncos IOL assist in establishing the run?

Denver is going to be a run-first team, and I am very eager to see if they can establish the run against a DL that appears to be above average on paper.