Broncos 2023 recap: 8-9 record in 1st season under Sean Payton

The 2023 Denver Broncos season comes to an end with a loss against the Raiders. How was the season for Denver?

Sean Payton
Sean Payton / Perry Knotts/GettyImages
5 of 5

5. The season:

The Broncos started the season with a 17-16 loss at home against the Las Vegas Raiders and finished their season with a 27-14 loss on the road against the Las Vegas Raiders, a full circle that was full of ups and downs, a roller coaster first season under Sean Payton.

Started the season 1-5, first with three consecutive losses against the Raiders, Commanders, and Dolphins. The first two were at home and lost both games by less than three points (by one against the Raiders, by two against the Commanders), the third one was a historic mess, an embarrassing 70-20 loss on the road against the Dolphins. At that point in the season, many viewed the Broncos as one of the worst, if not the worst team in the league. Then the Broncos bounced back with a win, their first one of the season on the road against the Bears. Lost at home against the Jets and on the road against the Chiefs in back-to-back weeks.

The bounce back ... following their week 6 loss against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Broncos defeated the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs at home, they had a 3-5 record heading into their week 9 bye. After the bye, Denver defeated the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football (on the road), and beat the Vikings and Browns at home, a 5-0 streak.

After the 5-0 stretch, the Broncos lost against the Texans, beat the Chargers, lost against the Lions, and closed the season with a loss against the Patriots, a win over the Chargers, and finally, a loss against the Raiders.

The Broncos defeated the Chiefs for the first time since the Peyton Manning era, got a road division win (at LAC - week 14) for the first time since 2019, also against the Chargers, and finished 3rd in the AFC West with a 3-3 record (swept the Chargers, got swept by the Raiders, and had an even record against the Chiefs). Finished the season with the same record as the Raiders, but due to the head-to-head matchup, the Broncos finished in third place.

As disappointing as it was to finish the season the way it did, for me, and probably for many Broncos fans, this was a very wild and fun season to watch. The 2024 season is gonna be a huge one!