Denver Broncos fans are hanging their heads on Sunday night... again. It's a new season, but things sure don't feel any different and now, the team has lost seven games in a row to the Las Vegas Raiders.
That's not something that should be said lightly. Seven losses in a row to the Raiders, a team that across that stretch has not been very good, says quite a bit about how far the Broncos' franchise has fallen.
Week 1 provided much of the same. The Broncos looked like the better team for a good portion of the game, but they simply could not execute when they needed to. The Broncos committed too many costly penalties and just could not get a big play when they needed to have it.
In the end, it was the Raiders who were able to convert a key 3rd-and-7 with the legs of Jimmy Garoppolo which allowed them to run out the rest of the clock. The Broncos go to 0-1, losing the season opener by the same 17-16 score that they lost the season opener last year.
Deja vu? Let's hope not.
Broncos Week 1 Loser: Damarri Mathis
No one in the Denver secondary was particularly good, and losing safety Caden Sterns in the second quarter didn't help matters. But second-year cornerback Damarri Mathis had a rough day. It seemed like every time the Raiders needed a play, they targeted Mathis in the passing game.
The Raiders did a good job shifting players to get the matchups they wanted and Garoppolo was able to make timely throws and routinely beat Mathis, whether he was matched up against Davante Adams or Jakobi Meyers.
Meyers had a nice day, catching nine passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns. Most of that came with Mathis in coverage.
The Broncos don't have great depth at the cornerback position, particularly with K'Waun Williams and Riley Moss hobbled by injuries. The team will have to rely on Mathis to bounce back in Week 2 and put this game behind him.
But when other teams see this game, they're going to scheme their offense to attack Mathis as well. He'll need to be much better.