5 most intriguing games on the Denver Broncos' 2023 schedule

Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos
Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages
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#3 Denver Broncos vs. Las Vegas Raiders, Week 1

One thing that will look different this year for the Denver Broncos is that they will not open the regular season as part of the Monday Night Football doubleheader that they have been a part of the last two seasons. It may be a welcome change, as the Broncos found themselves opening the season with a loss in both of those games.

This year, they will open the season against a divisional rival, the Las Vegas Raiders, at home. Not only will the Denver Broncos have their third meeting with former Broncos' head coach Josh McDaniels, but the team will also have a much different look this year. Broncos fans likely remember the very public breakup between the Raiders franchise and quarterback Derek Carr that began once the Raiders had been eliminated from playoff contention in 2022. Carr was not only benched but he was also kept away from the team in what would (technically) be his final two games as a Raider, even if he spent them from home. Carr hit free agency and joined the New Orleans Saints this past offseason.

When the Broncos open 2023 against the Raiders, Jimmy Garoppolo will be the new quarterback under center for the Silver and Black. This may be a welcome change for the Broncos, as history shows that the team struggled against Derek Carr. Derek Carr left Las Vegas with an 11-6 record against the Broncos and a six-game winning streak. Come September, the Broncos will be nearing almost three years since they last defeated the Raiders. Against the Broncos, Carr was highly accurate and posted QBRs as high as 121 (2019), 134.4 (2021), and 106.5 (2022), per StatMuse.

The intrigue with this matchup is fairly simple--we will see what the Raiders look like with a different quarterback, and we will find out if the Broncos can get back on track within the AFC West early.