While the Denver Broncos have yet to be formally eliminated from playoff contention for the 2022-23 NFL season, the team’s Week 11 overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders all but ends any playoff chances for the Broncos in Russell Wilson’s first season with the team.

Before you say “what playoff chances?” about a Broncos team that came in to the matchup 3-6, hosting the lowly 2-7 Las Vegas Raiders at Empower Field at Mile High, consider what the result would have been if Denver had emerged victorious. While the Broncos were never going to catch up to the Kansas City Chiefs or Buffalo Bills, the sixth. seventh, and eighth seeds after Week 11’s results are the 6-4 New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals, and New York Jets.

If the Broncos had beaten the Raiders to improve to 4-6, the two-game gap with seven games to play would be realistically possible to close.

But at 3-7, the Broncos would have to either run the table or perhaps go 6-1, maybe 5-2 with heaping loads of help in order to claim a playoff spot. For a team that has lost six of their last seven games, that seems highly unlikely. Looking at the schedule and seeing the Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Chargers, and Kansas City Chiefs twice, and it seems next to impossible.

The 2022-23 Broncos will go down as an anomaly: a team with the #1-ranked scoring defense and #32-ranked scoring offense.

Things looked good on a seven-play, 92-yard opening drive that resulted in a Latavius Murray 1-yard touchdown run: Denver’s first opening drive touchdown of the season. The Broncos tacked on a 48-yard field goal from Brandon McManus to tale a 10-0 lead with 9:19 left to play in the second quarter.

But that’s where the Broncos day took a turn.

Derek Carr found Davante Adams on a 31-yard touchdown pass to give the Raiders their first score of the day, and a 14-play drive resulted in no points after a 25-yard McManus attempt was blocked before halftime.

A sloppy second half resulted in four punts and two field goals from the Broncos offense, failing to create any distance from Las Vegas. The Raiders went 71 yards in seven plays, sparked by a 43-yard pickup by Josh Jacobs, and settled for a field goal to ti the game at 16 with 0:16 left to play.

In overtime, Carr found Fabian Moreau for a 33yard pickup on the second play of the drive, and then ended the game with a 35-yard touchdown strike to Adams, his second score of the game.

The Raiders walked it off on the road to improve to 3-7, the same record that the home team walked out with at the end of the day.

Calls will continue to reach new all-time highs for Nathaniel Hackett to be relived of head coaching duties. And while his box score doesn’t look too ugly (24-of-31, 247 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT,) Russell Wilson continues to hold back the offense.

The Broncos travel to the East Coast to take on the Carolina Panthers in what appears to be a winnable Week 12 matchup, but I’m sure that’s exactly what Carolina thinks when they see Denver on the schedule.

Week 11’s loss was Denver’s third overtime loss of the season, as well as their sixth one-score loss of the season.




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Header Photo Credits: AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post

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