BRONCOS

Three numbers to know for Broncos-Raiders

Nov 19, 2022, 6:37 PM | Updated: 11:52 pm
Josh Jacobs...
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

DENVER — Yes, the Broncos will play this game without Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, Garett Bolles, Javonte Williams, Lloyd Cushenberry, Billy Turner and, of course, Tim Patrick. That’s seven offensive first-teamers — or, in the case of Hamler, a player elevated to the first team by injury — who will not be in uniform.

That doesn’t stand as an excuse to fail Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders.

Because throughout the Raiders’ slapdash, 2-7 start to their season, every single opponent has managed to reach a point that the Broncos have just twice this season.

That threshold is:

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20

It’s the baseline number for the Broncos offense this week. Yes, the Broncos have just two games in which they reached that relatively average point total. But Las Vegas has allowed at least 20 points in every game — including to the Broncos, who logged a season-high 23 points in their Week 4 loss at Allegiant Stadium.

Las Vegas’ woes in this department are notable, but not unusual. Three teams allowed at least 20 points in each of their first nine games two years ago. Two did in 2019. Two more in 2018. In all, 19 teams have gone 9-for-their-first-9 in 20-plus allowed since 2010.

The Broncos desperately need to show their home fans something positive on offense. Because with just 3 touchdowns in their last 4 home games, they have the fewest trips to the end zone in any single-season four-home-game stretch in team history. It matches a 4-game run that began in 1970 and continued through the first three games of 1971.

Speaking of which …

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3

The number of touchdowns Denver must score to avoid setting a new franchise low for touchdowns in a 5-game, single-season span. Even a 3-touchdown game will mean the Broncos match 5-game single-season stretches in 2009 and 1971, when they scored 6 touchdowns.

Denver also needs to win to avoid a 3-game home losing streak. Such skids have become all too common in recent years. The Broncos lost three consecutive home games twice in 2020, although almost no one was there to see those games in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since 2017, the Broncos have five home losing streaks of 3 or more games. That’s as many of those skids as they had in the previous 26 seasons.

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23

That’s a point of success demarcation for the Raiders in getting RB Josh Jacobs the football. When the Raiders get him at least 23 offensive touches, they’re 14-5. When he plays and doesn’t reach 23 touches, they’re 9-25. This includes a 4-0 mark against Denver when he hits that mark. (He had a career-high 33 touches in Week 4.)

But the Raiders are also 2-0 against the Broncos when he doesn’t hit that mark. He had 17 and 15 touches in the two games against Denver last season. Las Vegas won both. In Since Jacobs joined the Raiders in 2019, their only loss to the Broncos came when he was injured and did not play in Week 17 of that season.

Jacobs is set to play Sunday. He has an average of 23.5 touches per game in the Raiders’ last six contests.

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Also of note:

1-7: That’s the Broncos’ record in the last eight games in the series. This is their worst eight-game stretch in the series since the eight games that immediately preceded the Raiders’ relocation from Los Angeles back to Oakland in 1995. The Broncos won 11 of the first 12 games against the Raiders after their return to Oakland.

7: The Broncos’ winning streak against former head coaches that was snapped in Week 4. After losing a 1975 game to the Lou Sabam-led Buffalo Bills, Denver won seven consecutive games against teams guided by ex-Broncos head coaches. The Broncos beat the Dan Reeves-led Atlanta Falcons three times (1997, Super Bowl XXXIII in January 1999, and 2000), defeated Wade Phillips-led clubs twice (Dallas in 2009, Houston in 2013), vanquished Mike Shanahan-guided Washington in 2013 and, finally, defeated the John Fox-led Chicago Bears in 2015. But that streak vanished in Week 4. Nevertheless, the Broncos remain 7-2 all-time against their exes.

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