For a second consecutive year, the Denver Broncos have started off the season with a 17-16 loss despite enormous hopes heading into the season with head coach Sean Payton joining the reigns of the Mile High. The Las Vegas Raiders defeated the Broncos improving to a 1-0 record while Denver fell to last place in the AFC West (the only team with an 0-1 division record).
While there still remains a great length of football to be played over the course of the next 17 weeks, Sean Payton and the Broncos will need to return to the drawing boards to fix a lot of issues that became prevalent throughout the divisional matchup. On the other side of things, a few players absolutely came to play Sunday and made a great first impression on the fanbase as the Broncos kicked off their 2023 season.
Denver Broncos Stock Up following close loss to Raiders:
RB Samaje Perine
New Broncos RB Samaje Perine had himself quite the debut. Against a stout Raiders defensive line, the veteran rushed eight times for 41 yards (5.1 YPC) and added three receptions for 37 yards (led team) out of the backfield. They may not be the most attractive numbers, but for an offense that was consistently building long sustained drives, Perine effectively contributed to executing Sean Payton's offensive game plan.
Not only was he effective on the ground creating yards after contract, but he was excellent in pass protection. The 5 foot 11 RB is clearly going to play a big part in the offense's identity this season and is going to be a great compliment to Javonte Williams in the backfield for the next two seasons.