Raiders vs Broncos 2023 Week 18: Studs and Duds

The Las Vegas Raiders ended the 2023 season with a resounding victory against the Denver Broncos, here are the Studs and Duds from a big win in Week 18.
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders / Candice Ward/GettyImages
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Antonio Pierce – Stud

Antonio Pierce deserves so much credit for the job he has done in turning around this season for the Raiders. This team was down in the dumps after an embarrassing loss to the Detroit Lions in primetime and he has revived them with his intensity and leadership. He started off with a press conference that gave Raiders fans goosebumps and he ended with a resounding victory over a division rival.

Pierce ends his interim. With the Raiders at 5-4 including a historic beatdown of the chargers, a big win at home against the Broncos, and most importantly a memorable victory against the chiefs at Arrowhead stadium on Christmas Day. There are some legitimate concerns about his game management ability but there are no concerns with him being able to lead and motivate this group of men.

His detractors may point out that several of his victories came against backup quarterbacks but to be fair to him he was dealing with a rookie fourth round pick at quarterback who it was clear the team did not fully trust at times. There must be a part of mark Davis that wonders what a team under Antonio Pierce would look like with a better quarterback under center.

Now that the season is over, the conversation will turn into a debate between Antonio Pierce, Jim Harbaugh, or some other candidates that may come up in the next few months but before we move on, we should appreciate what Pierce has done this year. He breathed life into a dead season and made Raiders football fun to watch and even play again.

So, if that was his last game as the head coach of the Raiders, then thank you Antonio pierce for all that you have done for this team. If Mark Davis chooses to hire him long term, then this year is an excellent foundation of what could be a very bright future for the Raiders.