The Denver Broncos are fresh off of one of their toughest losses in recent years to the New York Jets. It wasn't the magnitude of the game, it was the mere fact that the Broncos had something that was rightfully theirs, and it was taken out of their pocket at the last second.
I won't get into the gory detail again, because it's time to press on. After a loss like that, you're going to probably have mixed reviews from guys on the web and in the media. The writer is either going to see the loss as yet another game the Broncos could not close against a top tier team, or they will give them the benefit of the doubt and say that Denver has played well despite the toughest schedule in the NFL this season.
Unfortunately, most of these guys don't take that into account when they put together their rankings. I would say, for the most part, the rankings the Broncos have been given around the web are fair to understandable. For those of you who secretly read power rankings because you just have to know what other people think about the Broncos (like me), here's how they rank around the web.
The Broncos' early schedule has been brutal; softens now. (Kuharsky)
Thank you, Kuharsky, for that brilliant analysis. At least he cared to look at the Broncos' schedule so far. I think 22nd is probably where I figured most guys would rank the Broncos. Somewhere in the bottom 10 or 11 teams, especially from ESPN's ranks.
Reality hit the Broncos during last week's loss to the visiting Jets. At some point, they have to be able to run the ball with a semblance of success. Denver's offense is getting easier to defend because no defense has to respect its running game. And the lack of a pass rush on defense is not going to be solved based on the personnel they have on that side of the ball.
These rankings were made by Adam Caplan, and I think I follow him on Twitter. This is the dumbest reasoning I read on the day, though. Apparently he missed the Broncos getting a season high 145 yards rushing against the top ranked Jets. Apparently he missed our two sacks, which is also a season high for a single game. I can't say we have a great pass rush, but he's definitely not basing any of this off of the Jets game.
The Broncos just don't have the goods to hang with the conference's best. They have to learn to run and hold onto the football.
I totally disagree. I think the Broncos have proven they have the goods to "hang" with the best teams in the conference. They just have not proven they can finish teams off.
They were a fourth-down penalty away from upsetting the top team in the league. Kyle Orton continues to play at a high level.
Thanks for rubbing it in! Kyle Orton had his worst game of the season last week, but he didn't turn the ball over. He needs to put the ball in the end zone more in order for this fan to be impressed. I am so over going up and down the field and failing in the red zone.
Denver is very much still alive, but he's right that they are desperate and that they would be 3-3 had they won. He makes a good point, though. One play defined that game, and possibly the season so far for the Broncos. Instead of making a key stop (as they had been almost the entire game to that point), they made a key mistake. Hard to get that thought out of my head.
Tough loss to the Jets means that anything less than 3-0 in upcoming stretch (Oakland, at San Francisco, Kansas City) would just about end any playoff hopes. Someone other than Tim Tebow has to save the running game. --CB
Thanks CB. I think Knowshon Moreno has proved that he is going to be the one to get this running game going. He has averaged 4 yards per carry in two of his three games this year. He is not putting up giant numbers by any means, but he can and will save the Broncos' running game.
Sayre's Power Ranking: 17th
For what it's worth, I think the Broncos are 17th. That puts them ahead of every team 2-4 or worse, and ahead of the 3-2 Arizona Cardinals. I think they have played well to a point this season. Certainly, they have some things to figure out, and they need to do it in a hurry. They are in must-win mode right now as they host Oakland and travel to London to take on the San Francisco 49ers. Those two teams have a combined three victories this season.
If the Broncos want to make the playoffs, a victory against Oakland is the first step in the right direction.