Broncos vs. Raiders: This is the matchup the Broncos must dominate in Week 1

There are many key battles in Week 1 between the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders, but perhaps none more important than the one on the sidelines.

Jul 31, 2023; Henderson, NV, USA; Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniel during training camp at the
Jul 31, 2023; Henderson, NV, USA; Las Vegas Raiders coach Josh McDaniel during training camp at the / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos have a new head coach in Sean Payton while the Raiders still have one of the Broncos' old head coaches, Josh McDaniels.

Davante Adams will line up against Patrick Surtain in this game. The Broncos' defensive front will have to shut down Broncos killer Josh Jacobs, but the key to this game is the head-to-head coaching matchup.

The Broncos went out and splurged on Payton because of how he prepares his teams to play, how he gets the best out of his players, particularly the quarterback position, and how he schemes and offense.

McDaniels is still one of the most hated figures in Broncos history and what added to a miserable 2022 season for the Broncos is that their former coach swept them. The Raiders only won three games last season, two of them were against Denver.

McDaniels was otherwise awful in 2022 because he's just not a good head coach. And Payton, who showed that he was a great head coach in New Orleans, needs to use his prowess in that area to dominate McDaniels in the coaching chess match in this game.

Of course, the players on the field decide the outcome. The coach can only do so much. But a great coach should beat a bad coach at least 95 percent of the time.

Last season, McDaniels was able to take advantage of an absolutely terrible head coaching job done by Nathaniel Hackett. He won't be able to do the same against Payton.

Just for fun, here are the coaches that McDaniels won against last year:

Nathaniel Hackett (twice)
Brandon Staley
Lovie Smith
Pete Carroll
Bill Belichick

Hackett and Smith were both fired. Staley has never felt like a "good" coach for the Los Angeles Chargers. The Raiders beat the Seahawks in overtime on a long Josh Jacobs walk-off run and to beat his mentor, Bill Belichick, McDaniels needed one of the most ridiculous finishes in NFL history.

So for a team that was pretty bad last season, McDaniels had little to do with the small bits of success that it had. Payton needs to put a solid stamp on his coaching debut in Denver and show the home crowd what a massive impact a great head coach can have.

Next. Game Picks. Game-by-Game picks for the Broncos in 2023. dark

The Broncos won't beat the Raiders simply because they have Payton and the silver and black has McDaniels, not on that alone, but it should have a lot to do with how this one goes.