The Denver Broncos will play their first AFC West divisional game of the season when they travel this weekend to take on the Las Vegas Raiders. The Broncos are hoping to get a win over the Raiders for the first time in the last two years, while the Raiders are hoping to get their first win of the season.

Denver Broncos – Las Vegas Raiders Tale of The Tape

Through three weeks of NFL action, the Broncos have looked stout on the defensive side of the ball, while the offense has missed out on several opportunities.

Entering Sunday’s matchup, the Broncos offense has a chance to get things rolling against the Raiders defense.

As it stands, the Broncos are averaging 348 yards per game (16th) through three weeks. They prepare to take on a Raiders defense that has surrendered an average of 376.3 yards per game (21st) to start the season.

Based on numbers alone, the concern with Denver’s offense involves them scoring an average of 14.3 points per game (31st) this season against a Raiders defense that is allowing 25.7 points per game (24th) after three weeks of play.

Russell Wilson and the Broncos receivers could look to attack the Raiders secondary to help get the offense going, with Vegas allowing quarterbacks to throw for 267 yards per game (27th) early on this season.

However, the Broncos will have to have an answer for the size, speed, and strength of Maxx Crosby who has 2 sacks on the year to date, accounting for the Raiders only sack production defensively this season which ranks 31st in the NFL.

In Sunday’s win against the 49ers, Wilson was sacked four times and has been sacked a total of nine times through three games.

The Broncos offense comes into Sunday’s game ranked 32nd (14.3%) in the NFL in red zone percentage, whereas the Raiders defense ranks 30th in the NFL, allowing nearly 80% of opposing offenses to convert drives into points.

How does the Broncos defense fare against the Raiders offense?

Possibly one of the biggest surprises of the NFL season so far with the Raiders has been Davante Adams early season production. After having 10 catches in Week 1 vs the Los Angeles Chargers, Adams has hauled in seven catches in the last two games for 48 total yards.

Adams will face the tough task of working against Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain who is coming off of a performance where he was targeted six times, allowing zero completions.

Denver’s defense enters Sunday’s game coming off of a strong performance against the 49ers led by Surtain and others.

The Broncos currently boast one of the NFL’s top defenses through three weeks in various statistical categories: 3rd in yards allowed per game (251.3), 6th in yards allowed per play (4.7), 2nd in points allowed per game (12.0), 6th in rushing yards allowed per game (81.3), 3rd in passing yards allowed per game (170.0) so far.

Even more important, Denver has the NFL’s 3rd ranked third-down defense, holding teams to convert on third down at a rate of 26.5%. When it comes to red zone defense, the Broncos come into Sunday’s game against the Raiders with the number one ranked unit, holding teams to a 25% success rate.

In comparison, the Raiders offense hasn’t established their run game to the rate they’d hoped for early on, coming in as the 28th ranked rushing offense, averaging 80 yards per game on the ground. Josh Jacobs had led the way for them through three games with 192 total yards rushing.

It will be crucial for the Broncos to limit his ability to break open big runs on Sunday. In 2021, Jacobs wore the Broncos down in a 17-13 win over Denver, rushing for 129 yards on 27 carries and rallying for several backbreaking runs on third down that kept Vegas drives going.

As both teams report back to practice, it’s worth monitoring the injury report throughout the week to monitor the status of Broncos defensive lineman D.J. Jones (concussion protocol), Raiders wide receiver and cornerback Hunter Renfrow, Nate Hobbs who are both in concussion protocol as well.