The Denver Broncos appear to be zeroing in on Sean Payton, and that would be a nightmare scenario for the Las Vegas Raiders.
For both the Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos, the 2022 NFL season was nothing to write home about. Both teams struggled to play consistent football, and in the end, finished at the bottom of the AFC West.
Both teams were also under the direction of brand new head coaches, as the Broncos hired Nathaniel Hackett before the season, and the Raiders brought in Josh McDaniels. While both coaches struggled in Year 1 at the helm, Hackett did not even make it to the end of the season, as he was fired after 15 games.
Now, Denver looks for a new man to lead the way, and one name that has come up is Sean Payton, a Super Bowl-winning coach, formerly of the New Orleans Saints. Payton is a hot commodity heading into the 2023 offseason, and him landing in Denver would be a nightmare scenario for the Silver and Black.
Las Vegas already battles against one of the best head coaches in the NFL twice a season in Kansas City’s Andy Reid, and while Brandon Staley from the Chargers is a sub-par head coach, Payton entering the AFC West would mean Las Vegas takes on an elite coach in two-thirds of their divisional games.
Raiders need Josh McDaniels to step up in Year 2
Whether or not the Broncos bring in Payton, one thing is for sure in 2023, and that is the Raiders need an improved effort from Josh McDaniels. Brought in to build on the team’s success in 2021, McDaniels had more than a few questionable calls in Year 1, and his team suffered more losses when leading by double-digits in the second half than any other team in NFL history.
The AFC West is going to be a juggernaut this upcoming season, as the Broncos should see better play from Russell Wilson now that Hackett is gone. Both Los Angeles and Kansas City made the playoffs this past season, and are not expected to take a step back in 2023, making McDaniels improvement in Year 2 even more paramount.