The Denver Broncos are not the only AFC West team going through a tumultuous 2023 season.
On October 31, the Las Vegas Raiders announced the firing of head coach Josh McDaniels. McDaniels was fired eight games into the 2023 season, with the Raiders sitting at 3-5. General manager David Ziegler was also relieved of his duties.
Through 25 games coached in Las Vegas, McDaniels went 9-16, the third-worst record of any Raiders coach. Per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN, McDaniels became the first non-interim coach fired by two teams before the end of his second season.
The Raiders must not have paid any attention to McDaniels’ last stop within the division. When it comes to McDaniels, the house always loses.
In January 2009, the Broncos turned to McDaniels, former offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots from 2006-09. At the time of his hiring, McDaniels was the fifth-youngest NFL head coach ever. Denver started the 2009 season 6-0 before ending the year with an 8-8 record.
Controversy followed McDaniels during the 2010 season. The Denver Post reported on November 27, 2010, that the NFL fined McDaniels and the Broncos $50,000 each for a videotaping scandal that went unreported.
The Broncos were 3-9 at the time of his firing and finished 4-12, setting a franchise record for losses.
Denver has endured a rough stretch of football since winning the 2016 Super Bowl. However, things can always be worse, as the Raiders have proved.
Broncos Were Surprisingly Quiet at NFL Trade Deadline
Head coach Sean Payton told reporters that his team was not having a fire sale before the NFL trade deadline.
“We’re not openly, or even remotely, shopping anyone,” Payton said on October 30. “Have people called? Sure they have, and typically the buyer wants the media to know they called, not the seller.”
Turns out, Payton’s words were not a facade following a quiet deadline for Denver. The lack of moves for now ends all speculation involving the Broncos’ top talent.
The 2024 offseason will determine who on the team will be on the roster during Payton’s second season at the helm.
Patrick Surtain II Hints at Bigger Things to Come for Broncos After Week 8 Win
Surtain is seemingly buying into the culture Payton has established in Denver. The All-Pro believes the Broncos’ upset win over Kansas City in Week 8 was ‘only the start.’
“We’ve still got to keep it going,” Surtain said via Aric DiLalla of the Broncos’ official website. “This is only the start. This is like the beginning stage of building toward team success. We’ve just got to keep on working, keep getting better and obviously the road doesn’t get easier, it gets tougher.”
The Broncos have begun to gel on defense since giving up 70 points to the Miami Dolphins in Week 3.
In the last four games, Denver has allowed only four touchdowns, including none in the win over the Chiefs. The schedule does not lighten up for the Broncos, particularly after their Week 9 bye.
Heavy Sports’ projections powered by Quarter4 have the Bills as a 6.5-point favorite over the Broncos. The projections give Denver a 27% chance to upset Buffalo on the road. Surtain and the Broncos’ defense will have their hands full in Week 10, playing against the league’s fifth-ranked scoring offense.