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NFL Power Rankings Week 1: Where do the Broncos Rank Across the Web?

Aug. 30, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Denver Broncos head coach John Fox reacts during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE
Aug. 30, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Denver Broncos head coach John Fox reacts during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

The Denver Broncos begin one of the most exciting seasons in recent memories this Sunday night at home. Not very often can you say you have one of the best QBs in NFL history suiting up for you. Broncos Country is filled with optimism, but how do the talking heads around feel about the orange and blue.

Power Rankings are sort of like pre-season games. We pay attention to them but do not get overly concerned by what they say. In my opinion, it is more fun to see teams you do not like fall in them then it is to see the team you love rise.

But we all like to know what other people think and here is what they are saying:

ESPN: 13th (Last Week: 10th):

He's back. How far back Peyton Manning is after missing the 2011 season we will begin to find out when the Broncos host the Steelers on Sunday Night. (Fox)

I agree but I guess this is preaching to the choir. It's pretty obvious that this team goes as far as Manning does but cannot blame him for bringing this up. Like Elway said, "There is no Plan B."

Fox Sports: 16th

Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas will now live up to their potential in an offense that will finally use their talents as pass catchers. But make no mistake about it, the addition of Peyton Manning will also affect the defense. The quick paced offense will mean the D will be on the field more often and that can be taxing. - Brian Billick

I agree with Billick here on what this will do for Thomas and Decker. Both are Pro Bowl receivers in the making and both could pass 1000 yards this season, HOWEVER, the part about the defense being on the field more is where he is wrong. The Broncos D could not really be on the field MORE than last season. The Broncos lead the NFL in 3 and outs and if anything the D has more talent and will have more rest.

American Press: 11th

There is no explanation but this is a summary of a whole bunch of experts.

NFL.Com: Elliott Harrison: 10th (Previously: 10)

For the Denver Broncos its all about defense. How will the interior fare, from defensive tackle all the way back to the safeties? The Broncos have some depth, but not necessarily playmakers. Peyton Manning for all his greatness can't hide every deficiency. No change in the rankings here.

Probably the most accurate ranking so far in terms of explanation. The biggest worry for me is safety but the defense does not have to be as solid as it was last year in order for the Broncos to contend. However, there will be times this season where it should be better, especially against elite passers.

TSN: Scott Cullen: 13th

QB Peyton Manning hasn't shown that he's all the way back in the pre-season but that's not entirely necessary, either. If Manning is healthy enough to direct the Broncos' offense as he did more than a decade in Indianapolis, then they could be a playoff team. If injury and age are catching up to him and he's not the same Peyton Manning? Uh-oh.

I disagree with Manning being back. I think he will be fine and is the least of my concerns on this team.

Pro Football Talk: 14th

Yes, Peyton Manning is now in town. Unless he can play like he did before his 2011 neck surgeries, it may not matter much.

Thanks Mike Florio for the insight.......

CBS Sports: Pete Prisco: 10th

Peyton Manning will lead this team to a division title. They can throw it and they can rush the passer with Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil.

Pete and I do not always see eye to eye but I agree with him here and it is nice to see someone show respect to what our dominant pass rush can do.

COLBY'S OPINION: I think the 10-12 area is perfect for the Broncos. This team has questions surrounding it but with Peyton Manning, this team could move up quickly in the rankings. This is a prove it year for the Broncos. They have the tools but have to show they know how to use them.

What do you guys think?