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Denver Broncos drop in power rankings for Week 15

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The Denver Broncos fell out of the top five in most power rankings around the web this week.

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At the beginning of the NFL season, power rankings are pretty much guesses with a bit of bias from the author. Ok, power rankings are all about bias throughout the season to some extent. But in the first few weeks rankers need to do a bit of guessing, because a team's previous season, draft, and offseason, no matter how impressive, are not guarantees teams will actually win football games.

As the season moves along, most rankers start off with a lot of knee jerk risers and fallers as teams initially ranked low start beating teams ranked much higher. Even further along rankers begin to calm down a bit, forgiving some teams with injuries when they lose games, and not being impressed when good teams beat bad teams.

Now near the end of the season, power rankings become more about the postseason. Namely - which teams do rankers feel are going to threaten in the playoffs. Records don't matter as much as momentum. And sadly for Broncos fans, there is no momentum to be found right now in Broncos Country. But there is still time to make the Raiders loss a "good" December loss, rather than the start of a downward spiral.

Here are the rankings for the Broncos this week around the web.

ESPN: 5 (last week 4)

Brock Osweiler is turning it over much less than Peyton Manning, but he's taking sacks at nearly double the rate of Manning (8.8 percent to 4.5 percent).

Top 5: Panthers, Cardinals, Patriots, Bengals, Broncos.  (last week 4)

Wanted to drop a nice line about the Broncos here ... but I figured there was no way I could live up to the "dropping things" standard set by Denver's receivers. That bar is way too high. Demaryius Thomas and Vernon Davis suffered two of the most ill-timed drops you'll ever see in Sunday's loss to the Raiders. At least Thomas made up for it with a terrible fumble. And then there was the muffed punt by Emmanuel Sanders at his own 20 ... alright, this is getting depressing. On to the next blurb.

Top 5: Panthers, Patriots, Cardinals, Seahawks, Steelers.

Mile High Report: (last week 1)

Here's why the Broncos are #7: Coaching is mediocre at best. They can't seem to make adjustments on the offensive side of the ball, and they seem incapable of changing up the gameplan the second time we play a team. That spells major problems come the playoffs when we will most certainly be playing each playoff team for the second or even third time.

Top 5: Panthers, Patriots, Cardinals, Steelers, Seahawks.

SB Nation: 4 (last week 2)

Denver couldn't get anything going on offense -- the run game was non-existent -- and a few untimely drops by Demaryius Thomas and Vernon Davis doomed their comeback attempt at home. This is still an elite defense but the offense continues to struggle, and without a little more balance, it may be tough for Denver to make noise once the playoffs roll around.

Top 5: Panthers, Cardinals, Patriots, Broncos, Seahawks.

CBS Sports: 6 (last week 4)

That was a bad loss at home to the Raiders. Peyton Manning has to go back in as the starter when he's healthy.

Top 5: Panthers, Cardinals, Patriots, Seahawks, Bengals.

Fox Sports: 7 (last week 5)

Denver’s offensive flaws were finally exposed as Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack racked up five sacks. When Peyton Manning is healthy, Brock Osweiler might be bench-bound.

Top 5: Panthers, Cardinals, Patriots, Seahawks, Steelers.

Peter King: 6 (last week 2)

Gary Kubiak will talk to Peyton Manning, watch him practice, watch Brock Osweiler practice, and then decide who plays in Pittsburgh. What a novel concept! Playing the best guy! It’s very likely to be Osweiler, but two weeks from now—that’s the time you should be watching for Manning.

Top 5: Panthers, Patriots, Cardinals, Seahawks, Steelers.

PFF: 6 (last week 5)

Outside linebacker Von Miller is one of just two edge rushers to have a pass rushing productivity above 15 from both the left and right side. He has 15.2 on the left, and 15.6 on the right.

Top 5: Panthers, Patriots, Bengals, Cardinals, Packers.

What do you think about these Power Rankings? Let us know in the comments!