All of the offseason hoopla has led us to now being just days away from the Denver Broncos opening up the 2023 season against the Las Vegas Raiders. This will be the second year for the Denver Broncos' new ownership group, but the first year for new head coach Sean Payton in Denver.
The Broncos will be facing a familiar foe in the Las Vegas Raiders, who have Josh McDaniels at the helm of the ship for the second season. After months of predicting and projecting, we've almost reached the point now where we can watch these guys play a real game and react to real things happening.
So how about a few more predictions? What advantages do the Denver Broncos have in this game to help them beat the Raiders? What could end up leading to a Raiders win? Let's take a look at three reasons the Denver Broncos will win and two reasons the Raiders might.
Denver Broncos will win because...of Sean Payton
We have seen it time and time again -- coaching matters more than a lot of people think in the NFL. The Denver Broncos were the definition of dysfunction last year from a coaching perspective and Sean Payton couldn't be more of a change of pace. Dating back to the 2017 season, the Broncos have had first-time head coaches on the job (Vance Joseph, Vic Fangio, Nathaniel Hackett).
The lack of experience in the head coaching department has burned the Broncos in a number of ways, although Vic Fangio's veteran presence serves as a reminder of the vast contrast in quality of play an experienced head coach can bring to the table.
Sean Payton has gravitas. He has a proven history of consistent success. He is one of the great offensive minds in modern NFL history, which means he's one of the great offensive minds in league history, for all intents and purposes. In 15 seasons on the job with the Saints, Payton rarely had offenses not rank in the top 10.
We expect the Broncos to be a much better operation under Sean Payton's watch, and if that's the case, they have an edge over Josh McDaniels and the Raiders.