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Winners and losers against Broncos

Big standouts from a big win

Los Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos
Jakobi Meyers
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders sit alone on top of the AFC West after coming up with a big inter-division victory against the Denver Broncos in Week 1. While, of course, it’s way too early to give the Raiders the division crown, they couldn’t have asked for a much better start to begin the campaign as several players stepped up for the Silver and Black.

WINNER: Jakobi Meyers

Jakobi Meyers was probably the MVP of the game for Las Vegas with his nine catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns as all three figures led the team. He was also responsible for the team’s longest play of the game—21 yards—and had a career outing.

Sunday was the first multi-touchdown performance of Meyers’ career and nine catches are tied for the second-most he’s had in a single game. Even his 81 yards rank eighth-best out of his 61 career games as he and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had a strong connection going all game.

Unfortunately, the wideout did suffer a concussion at the end of the contest from a nasty hit that drew a flag and gave the Raiders a first down on their final drive. Hopefully, Meyers will be back in time for next week’s matchup against the Bills because he certainly proved to be a key piece of the offense moving forward.

LOSER: Jakorian Bennett

It was a rough NFL debut for Jakorian Bennett. The Broncos were picking on him early, especially with wide receiver Courtland Sutton, and Bennett ended up allowing four catches on five targets for 39 yards while also drawing two penalties in coverage, per Pro Football Focus. The 195-pounder struggled to cover Denver’s bigger pass catchers, earning an ugly 43.0 PFF coverage grade on the afternoon.

However, there is a silver lining for Bennett as he de recorded a couple of defensive stops against the run and earned an 81.6 mark as a run defender. He was a physical player in college and that showed against the ground game, he just needs to figure out his body positioning in coverage to avoid getting boxed out when he’s at a significant size disadvantage.

WINNER: Jimmy Garoppolo

Los Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos
Jimmy Garoppolo
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Jimmy Garoppolo’s afternoon wasn’t perfect as he undoubtedly wants that red zone interception back and he fumbled a snap on Denver’s one-yard line, but he made plenty of plays to look past that and finish as the Raiders' highest-graded offensive player (81.1), per PFF.

Specifically as a passer, Garoppolo’s 85.7 grade ranks third among qualifying quarterbacks heading into Monday Night Football, and he logged a big-time throw to go along with an 80.8 adjusted completion percentage. He even managed to pick up 17 yards on three scrambles and two of those went for first downs, including the scamper to seal the Raiders’ win at the end of the game.

Overall, it was a sharp Silver and Black debut for Jimmy G.

LOSER: Non-Maxx Crosby Defensive linemen

Maxx Crosby undoubtedly had a good game in Denver, exemplified by his team-leading 89.7 PFF Grade. However, the rest of the Raiders defensive line was very quiet as the next-best d-lineman in PFF’s grading system was defensive tackle John Jenkins, who posted a sub-par mark of 59.0.

While Jerry Tillery managed to get a sack, it was a coverage sack at that and the unit struggled to win as pass rushers with Crosby accounting for six of the team’s 10 pressures and no other defensive lineman had more than one. Also, the Broncos were able to get 94 rushing yards and averaged 4.3 yards per carry as the Raiders’ defensive line struggled to hold their gaps outside of the Pro Bowler.

Las Vegas is going to need the rest of the unit to step up next Sunday as quarterback Josh Allen and the Bills will tear the defense apart if he has all day to throw and they can move the ball on the ground like Denver did.

WINNER: Divine Deablo

Coming into the season, coverage was one of Divine Deablo’s biggest areas of improvement, so it’s worth noting that he earned the highest single-game PFF coverage grade of his career by over 20 points with an elite 90.7 mark on Sunday.

That also ranks third among all linebackers over the weekend, and Deablo was targeted five times but allowed just three receptions for zero yards and three stops in coverage. It’s hard to ask for a much better outing than that, especially since the latter is tied for the fourth-most at his position.

Deablo also added a pass breakup and a defensive stop against the run with no missed tackles on the afternoon to cap off what was the best game of his career to date.

LOSER: Tre’von Moehrig

Tre’von Moehrig wasn’t terrible on Sunday but giving up four catches on four targets for 31 yards and a touchdown isn’t going to cut it for the long haul. The touchdown grab he gave up is concerning as it looked like he was trying to see too much or got caught staring at the quarterback and lost his man on a scramble drill.

To Moehrig’s credit, he did have three defensive stops, but he needs to cut down on the negative plays moving forward.

WINNER: Nate Hobbs

Los Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos
Nate Hobbs
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

With a team-leading 12 total tackles, Nate Hobbs was certainly active in the Mile High City. He made a handful of great plays against screens or short passes, finishing with three coverage stops, which are tied for third among all defensive backs for the week, and his 80.7 coverage grade is 12th-best.

Hobbs was also making plays against the run where he logged three more defensive stops—tied for the most among DBs—which allowed him to lead the team in the metric with six total. After a down year in 2022, this was a perfect way for the three-year veteran to kick off his bounce-back season.

LOSER: Dylan Parham

Truth be told, the Raiders’ offensive line as a whole struggled in the ground game as they only averaged 2.1 yards per rush on the afternoon. Dylan Parham was the worst culprit with a team-low 46.3 PFF mark as a run blocker.

He was solid in pass protection at least with just one pressure surrendered, which is the opposite of how he played last season, so he just needs to put it all together and start having more complete outings moving forward.