SB Nation - 2 (2)
Peyton Manning was cool and efficient in a warmer stadium, spinning his Big Wheel O' Weapons and settling on Eric Decker. Decker hazed rookie corner Marcus Cooper, and the Chiefs safeties were hamstrung by the Broncos' multiple targets and Manning's Hall of Fame eye discipline. Denver's pass defense can be exploited, but few teams can exploit it well enough to keep up with Manning.
Record: 10-2. Peyton Manning and the Broncos leapfrogged a few other elite contenders based on record and how they won on Sunday. Going into a stadium where the Broncos are historically bad during the month of December, against a playoff contender in the Chiefs and putting it on them offensively is far more deserving than a dominating win over a doormat and a close win over another doormat. It is clear the Broncos are the best team in the AFC on a neutral field and the Colts and Patriots will find that out in January. Plus we have Knowshon Moreno's combat skills.
ESPN - 2 (3)
Way to bounce back. Peyton Manning completed as many deep passes to Eric Decker (5-of-6, 3 TDs) as he had total deep completions in his previous three games combined.
They showed the Chiefs who owns the division. Now they have to hold on for the top seed in the AFC.
The 10-2 Broncos are in the driver's seat for home field throughout the playoffs and their running game is becoming a big factor, which will help if weather becomes an issue down the stretch.
(363 points - 0 first place votes). The AP Pro32 is determined by a simple points system based on how each voter ranks the NFL's 32 teams. A team receives 32 points for each first place vote, 31 for second place and so on through to the 32nd team, which receives one point.
FOX Sports - 3 (5)
Eric Decker's 174 yards and four touchdowns put him on an exclusive list that includes only Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens. That's pretty good company.
NFL.com - 2 (3)
John Fox rejoins the fold this week. Jack Del Rio will go back to solely running the defense, which certainly has had its struggles, giving up 892 yards and 62 points in Denver's last two games. That group -- particularly the secondary, and particularly in the tackling department -- must right the ship if the Broncos are to make hay in the postseason. Of course, is there a better elixir than hosting the Tennessee Titans? Fitzmagic was anything but in Indianapolis on Sunday.
Once again, I'm at a loss in terms of which team to put at No. 2. It's effectively a tie between the Patriots, Broncos, Saints and Panthers. I'm moving the Broncos up to No. 2 for their impressive victory at Kansas City, but I'm concerned that Peyton Manning will fade away when the weather gets colder and windier.
Average Ranking: 2.33
Average Change: +1.22
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