The Las Vegas Raiders will give the Denver Broncos plenty of headaches on offense during their Week 1 contest. One of the players who Denver needs to prepare for is running back Josh Jacobs. How do the Broncos intend to stop the 25-year-old? Well, head coach Sean Payton has a plan.
While the Raiders offense will be the center of attention once the 2023 NFL season begins, don’t count the defense short. Yes, Maxx Crosby is the star player that the opposition will prepare for. However, his running mate, Tyree Wilson, is a Defensive Rookie of the Year award candidate. One analyst believes Wilson will take home the award.
As Week 1 nears, there’s plenty of news regarding the Silver and Black, so let’s get into the latest.
How are the Broncos preparing for Raiders’ Josh Jacobs?
Jacobs will be motivated to prove he’s worth a high salary and long-term contract, and his first chance to do so is against Denver. The Alabama product hasn’t participated in camp or practices prior to this week, so it will be interesting to see if there’s any rust. Still, it’s likely he’s ready to run all over the Bronco’s defense.
Josh Jacobs is one of the names that Sean Payton’s defensive coaching staff has to prepare for. Payton is well aware of the challenge the current NFL rushing champion presents, and recently stated the game plan to prevent Jacobs from running wild.
“Our plan defensively is, here are the key players,” Payton told reporters (h/t 9News). “He certainly is one of the more dominant running backs in the NFL, so that’s how we’ll approach the game.”
While last season was a disaster for the Broncos, their run defense was quite respectable. In the previous campaign, the Denver defense finished top-10 in fewest rushing yards allowed (1,866). Furthermore, the unit only gave up 4.3 rushing yards per attempt and 12 rushing touchdowns.
If Denver’s defense remains solid in the running game to begin this season, it might put pressure on Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to become an aerial threat and aid Jacobs. However, these concerns can all be for naught if the Broncos’ run coverage takes a step back this season.
Each new year welcomes different results; in Week 1, the Raiders could prove that offenses can run on Denver this season.
Is Tyree Wilson a DROY candidate?
Maxx Crosby will have all eyes on him when the Broncos’ offense takes the field, but Denver might want to keep tabs on another Raiders defender as well. The Silver and Black hope their star pass rusher will have a running mate to join him in getting to the quarterback this season. They might have just that.
Chandler Jones was supposed to be Crosby’s side-kick, and while it can still happen despite a down performance in 2022, Wilson can be the player that takes advantage of the attention Crosby will draw. Is that proposition enough to predict the seventh-overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft a candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year? Good Morning Football’s Kyle Brandt believes so, and more.
“We saw just a little glimpse of him on the field, and we’re like, oh, my gosh, Tyree Wilson is the strongest man of all time,” Brandt said on Good Morning Football Monday. “We know about Crosby on the other side.
“He was paid, drafted, and employed to chase Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, [and] Russell Wilson. I think he’s going to do it. I think he’s going to have double-digit sacks. And then some, I love this guy. Tyree Wilson of the Las Vegas Raiders. My defensive rookie of the year.”
Wilson was drafted to make life difficult for the quarterbacks in the AFC West. Can he do that this season? Las Vegas isn’t placing the sack responsibilities on his shoulders. If the 23-year-old can win his one-on-ones to get to signal callers, it’s a positive sign.
So what do you think, Raiders fans? Are you putting any stock on Wilson, or do you believe another rookie defensive lineman such as Jalen Carter will grab the honors? Let us know.
*Top Photo: Andy Cross/The Denver Post