Why Broncos fans can't ignore seriousness of Week 1 loss for any reason

The Denver Broncos went down to defeat against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1 and for many reasons, that loss can't be chalked up as "just one game".

Sep 10, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton greets Las Vegas Raiders
Sep 10, 2023; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton greets Las Vegas Raiders / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Broncos are a team with one of the most rabid, passionate fanbases in all of pro sports. And those fans should not be scoffing at this loss or downplaying it in any way. Here's the reasons why.

The Broncos are a team that has not made the playoffs since 2015. Though the Broncos won the Super Bowl that season, they had plenty of bumps in the road and a stout defense carried them to the championship. It's been at least eight years since this team has been good. So, it starts there.

As the team has tried to get back to the top of the mountain, it has gone through multiple head coaches and even more starting quarterbacks. But the way that they obtained the current quarterback and head coach — Russell Wilson and Sean Payton — which was to trade multiple first-round picks, is the most frustrating part of where this team currently stands.

Let me make this clear. The Raiders are not a good team. So to sum things up, you have traded more than one first-round pick for a quarterback and a head coach that can't beat the Raiders? But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

The offense is still pedestrian at absolute best. Since the glory days of having Peyton Manning at quarterback, the Broncos are a team that is good for 16-20 points a game. And that just isn't going to get it done.

The Broncos haven't had a quarterback, including Wilson, that gives you the feeling that you will be in every game the way that Manning and John Elway did. They don't have an explosive running game and they don't have a wide receiver that is going to make a big play when the team needs one.

These are things that also aren't going to appear out of thin air.

As I listened to the talking heads of the NFL world on Monday and heard varying opinions, but the one I had to laugh at the most was Mark Schlereth, speaking on 104.3 The Fan, talking about how the offensive efficiency displayed by the Broncos during this game will lead to many victories.

There's just one problem, Mark. They didn't win this game, and it was against the Raiders. Now, no one that resides in Broncos Country likes the Raiders, but they are not a good football team. They should have been seen as one of the more beatable teams on the Broncos' entire schedule.

But that's not all.

Thinking back to the way last season started, on the road against the Seattle Seahawks, with a brand new head coach, the Broncos lost that game by a score of 17-16. Now, with a new head coach, who you gave up a first-round pick for, you lose to the Raiders by the exact same score.

That game against the Seahawks came down to a missed field goal by the Broncos, albeit from 64 yards out, from Brandon McManus. This game against the Raiders was largely decided by the kicker that Sean Payton replaced McManus with, Wil Lutz, who missed two crucial kicks.

It just seems like one bad decision after another and for those reasons, Broncos Country shouldn't be so quick to say "it's not that bad, this is just one game".

Because it's not just one game. It's eight years.