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Broncos Must Win These Key Matchups To Beat Raiders

Denver Broncos vs. Las Vegas Raiders. Which team has the advantage?

While the Denver Broncos currently sit with a 2-1 record, they've barely managed to muster enough offense to be in that position. After getting over the hurdle of the San Francisco 49ers, they now face their first divisional opponent in the Las Vegas Raiders

The Broncos are in a first-place tie in the division, while the Raiders are in last place with a 0-3 record. This is a big game for the Broncos, and if they win, they will find themselves owning first place no matter what happens with the Kansas City Chiefs

Entering the week, the Chiefs hold onto first place as they defeated the Los Angeles Chargers, giving them the second tiebreaker, as the Broncos and Chiefs have yet to play. If both the Chiefs and Broncos win, then the tiebreaker goes to conference win percentage, with the Chiefs' loss coming to the Indianapolis Colts

However, there is more on the line for the Broncos than their placement in the division. Denver will face its former head coach, who is despised in Broncos Country. Josh McDaniels brought ruin to the Broncos by making one questionable decision after another and got the team embroiled in a cheating scandal. 

McDaniels alienated the young Jay Cutler, traded away other young core members, and traded a 2010 first-round pick to get the 37th overall selection in 2009 on a player that was traded at the start of the 2010 season. 

There is no love lost for McDaniels, and this is being hyped up as a revenge game for him, but also for Broncos Country. Games against the Raiders are never easy, as evidenced by the fact that they've swept the Broncos in each of the past two seasons. 

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Las Vegas is a team that will be hunting for its first win. So, when you dig into the matchups, how does this game look? 

Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (3) attempts a throw in the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Empower Field at Mile High.
Sep 25, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) moves the ball against Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby (98) during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon III (25) runs the ball as offensive tackle Cameron Fleming (73) loses his helmet defending against San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway (98) in the third quarter at Empower Field at Mile High.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (10) is tackled by San Francisco 49ers safety Tashaun Gipson Sr. (31) in the second quarter at Empower Field at Mile High.
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws the ball during the fourth quarter at Nissan Stadium Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. Nfl Las Vegas Raiders At Tennessee Titans
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) is sacked by Denver Broncos linebacker Bradley Chubb (55) in the fourth quarter at Empower Field at Mile High.
Denver Broncos linebacker Jonas Griffith (50) celebrates after an interception in the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Empower Field at Mile High.
Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson (22) celebrates his fumble recovery with cornerback Damarri Mathis (27) in the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Empower Field at Mile High.
Nathaniel Hackett, Josh McDaniels

Bottom Line

The Broncos cannot afford to lose this game. Even with the struggles the Broncos have had on offense, they still maintain significant advantages vs. the Raiders. Denver's defense looks like a legit top-5 unit at worst, and the Raiders offense has plenty of weapons. 

The Broncos need this win to put themselves in sole possession of first place in the division. After dropping their season opener, the Broncos can't afford to lose the games they should win, such as this one. 

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