Consider Sunday a double win for the Seattle Seahawks.
Not only did Seattle win a 48-45 shootout over the Detroit Lions, but the Denver Broncos ended up being the first team to lose to the Las Vegas Raiders. Even though Russell Wilson was very efficient (17/25 for 237 yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 rushing touchdown, and no turnovers), the Broncos offense as a whole didn’t necessarily have a great day. Denver ran just 48 plays, finished 3/11 on 3rd down (and just 1 for their last 8), and Melvin Gordon pretty much put his roster spot at stake with a costly fumble return touchdown.
That’s five fumbles in Gordon’s last five games dating back to last season.
Down 25-16, Wilson started to engineer some classic 4th quarter magic in the form of a moonball to K.J. Hamler, followed by his first rushing TD as a Bronco.
But the Broncos defense, sturdy as it had been through three games, got destroyed by Vegas’ rushing attack. Josh Jacobs scored two touchdowns and ran for 144 yards on 28 carries, including the game-clincher.
The Raiders rushed for over 200 and Davante Adams had 101 of Vegas’ 188 receiving yards.
Of note from Denver’s 2nd half: Wilson was just 6/13 for 88 yards and that rushing touchdown, including a batted pass to himself which he caught in his own end zone and had to run like hell to get out of there. Denver also had a couple of drops, particularly from their running backs. Javonte Williams might have suffered a serious knee injury, which is a big blow to Denver’s offense.
And so with that news, the Broncos are 2-2 just like the Seahawks. Their defense (and the usual Wilson 4th quarter heroics) netted them two comeback wins against the Texans and 49ers, but there was not to be a similar outcome today. Lest we forget they’ve not yet played either Kansas City or the Chargers, and those figure to be four difficult games for them just within the division.
Josh McDaniels has his first win as Raiders head coach, and it’s fittingly against Denver. You may recall he coached the Broncos when the Seahawks had their 2010 first-round pick. We know what happened then and it landed Earl Thomas in Seattle. This year, Seattle holds Denver’s first- and second-round picks in the 2023 Draft.
Up next: Denver has what feels like a “get-right” game at home against the 1-2-1 Indianapolis Colts on Thursday Night Football, but the way the Broncos have played nothing is a gimme for them even if the Colts might be without both Jonathan Taylor and Shaq Leonard.