It’s rivalry week to open the season for the Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos and there remains no love lost between the two teams. While rivalries typically stay between players and coaches, one Broncos player has an issue with Raiders owner Mark Davis.
Defensive end Randy Gregory is not a fan of what Davis does with his hair.
“Do you really want my answer? I don’t like the owner’s haircut, to be honest,” Gregory said when asked what he hates most about the Raiders in a now-deleted September 8 video from DNVR Broncos on X. “I don’t like the bowl cut. It kind of pisses me off.”
Davis isn’t an owner who is in the spotlight much so he’s usually able to avoid shots from opposing players. However, his trademark bowl cut has been the subject of controversy for years. If he hasn’t changed it now, it’s hard to imagine he’ll be changing it anytime soon so Gregory is going to have to live with it. He just gave the Raiders some bulletin board material heading into the Week 1 matchup.
Sean Payton Downplays Las Vegas Raiders Rivalry
The Raiders and the Broncos have been playing against each other twice a year since 1960, which is when both teams first started playing football. There has never been a year of football since where they haven’t played. It’s one of the most historic rivalries in the NFL. However, Broncos head coach Sean Payton doesn’t buy into rivalries on the NFL level.
“We look at them as divisional games,” Payton said when asked if there’s an extra emphasis put on rivalry games during his September 4 media avaiblilty, via The Athletic. “I think of rivalries as college football, and then arch-rivalries as — I was asked that question a lot, relative to Atlanta and New Orleans — divisional games are important.”
While the Saints had their own rivalries when Payton was coaching them, none of them were as historic as the rivalry between the Broncos and Raiders. Payton is new to the AFC West so he’s just focusing on the divisional aspect of the matchup.
“The first goal is to find a way to win your division,” Payton said. “You play your divisional opponents twice. I can’t speak for rivalries. I just think that exists a little bit more in the collegiate game, and I think division games are important, yes.”
Las Vegas Raiders Dominating Rivalry in Recent Years
The Raiders currently are dominating the rivalry between the two teams. They have a 70-53-2 record all time. The Broncos did win the rivalry in the 2000s and 2010s but the Raiders have owned the 2020s. Denver has yet to be the Raiders since they moved to Las Vegas.
The Raiders have won six straight matchups against their rival. That could change in Week 1 of the 2023 season but Las Vegas has had the edge in recent years. The Broncos are the one team in the AFC West the Raiders have been able to have success against. If they lose ground on Denver, that would be very bad news for the silver and black. Week 1 will be a telling game for the state of the AFC West this season.