Sean Payton’s Broncos out to snap 6-game skid against AFC West rival Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) runs against the Kansas City Chiefs during the...
Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) runs against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of an NFL football game, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)(John Locher | AP)
Published: Sep. 7, 2023 at 11:47 AM PDT
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(AP) - LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (6-11) at DENVER BRONCOS (5-12): Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EDT, CBS

OPENING LINE: Broncos by 4, according to FanDuel SportsBook.

SERIES RECORD: Raiders lead 71-54-2.

LAST MEETING: Raiders beat Broncos 22-16 on Nov. 20, 2023, at Denver.





TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Raiders minus-8, Broncos minus-1.

RAIDERS PLAYER TO WATCH: RB Josh Jacobs. He sat out training camp over a contract dispute, so how ready Jacobs is for the opener is a major question. Jacobs led the NFL in yards rushing (1,653) and yards from scrimmage (2,053) last year. With a combined 393 touches between rushing and receiving, the Raiders relied heavily on Jacobs last season. It’s possible coach Josh McDaniels eases him into the season, but Jacobs has had more success against the Broncos than any other team, rushing for 721 yards and nine touchdowns.

BRONCOS PLAYER TO WATCH: S Justin Simmons. Like Jacobs, Simmons missed lots of time in August but that was because he tweaked a groin and not because of a contract stalemate. When Simmons was sidelined, Russell Wilson and coach Sean Payton’s offense finally got going. Before that, he was posting daily interceptions and otherwise disrupting the offense’s ability to gel. Simmons tied for the league lead with six interceptions last season despite missing a month.

KEY MATCHUP: Raiders ground game versus Broncos run defense. The Broncos fortified their front seven in the offseason and the Raiders figure to have another elite rushing attack behind Jacobs, who will be the freshest player on the field Sunday no matter his snap count.

KEY INJURIES: Raiders: CB Brandon Facyson didn’t practice Wednesday because of an injured shin. He backs up starter Marcus Peters. If Facyson isn’t able to play, Amik Robertson likely will be Peters’ backup. … WR DeAndre Carter was limited in practice with a knee injury. Broncos: WR1 Jerry Jeudy, who pulled his right hamstring in a joint practice with the Rams last month and missed the final preseason tuneup, returned to the field Wednesday on a limited basis. If he plays it’s unlikely he’ll get as many snaps as usual. ... TE Chris Manhertz (chest) and CB Riley Moss, who’s recovering from abdominal surgery last month, also were limited.

SERIES NOTES: After wrapping up their time in Oakland with a 16-15 loss at Denver on Dec. 29, 2019, the Raiders have won six in a row over the Broncos. And they’ve won eight of the past nine matchups overall. That marks the Raiders’ best stretch against Denver since 1989-94, when they beat the Broncos 11 times in 12 meetings.

STATS AND STUFF: After six seasons in San Francisco, QB Jimmy Garoppolo rejoins Josh McDaniels. Garoppolo, who was Tom Brady’s backup when McDaniels was designing plays for the Patriots, brings a 40-17 record to Las Vegas as he replaces longtime QB Derek Carr. ... His next 100-yard receiving game will be Raiders WR Davante Adams’ 40th, the second most in the NFL since his rookie season in 2014. Only 12 other players have reached that mark in their first 10 seasons. … The Raiders’ six-game winning streak against Denver is their longest active one against any team. The next closest is a four-game winning streak against the Cleveland Browns. … DE Maxx Crosby has 37½ sacks, just one behind Derrick Burgess for seventh in Raiders history. … DE Chandler Jones has 112 sacks, one behind Sean Jones for 25th in NFL history. … K Daniel Carlson is three points away from 600. … CB Marcus Peters has 33 interceptions since his first season in 2015, the most in the league over that time. ... Sean Payton returns to the sideline after a year’s sabbatical in the Fox broadcast studio following a 15-year run with the New Orleans Saints. ... Broncos QB Russell Wilson ranks third in multi-touchdown games (95) since 2012. ... S Justin Simmons is the first player in team history to have multiple interceptions in each of his first seven seasons. ... ILB Alex Singleton’s 152 tackles in 2022 were the third most by a Broncos defender since 1994. ... Rookie RB Jaleel McLaughlin, the NCAA’s all-time leader in rushing yards, led the league with four touchdowns in the preseason.

FANTASY TIP: It’s probably wise to stay away from the running backs in this one. There’s no telling how many chances Jacobs will get or how effective he’ll be after only recently reporting to the team following his protracted holdout. For the Broncos, Javonte Williams is coming off a serious left knee injury he suffered when Crosby tackled him in the Raiders’ Week 4 victory over Denver last season. He’s back but Payton will keep a close eye on his touches and he’ll share the running duties with Samaje Perine and rookie Jaleel McLaughlin.