Things are a little wacky in the NFL right now. It’s almost as if everyone became tired of the storyline that you need a proven elite quarterback (whatever that might mean to you) to succeed in the NFL. Two of the highest ranked teams, the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots, are finding ways to win with backup and previous 3rd string quarterbacks.
The Patriots seem ready to play Thursday night’s game with some random guy from the equipment room at quarterback if something might happen to Jacoby Brissett - and they’ll still probably win. The Broncos and Patriots are both teams that always seem to win games the media says they will surely lose. Hopefully the Broncos will continue to win now that analysts are expecting them to.
ESPN: (5) last week 8
How good is the Broncos' defense? Their past five games (including playoffs) have been against Cam Newton (twice), Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady and Andrew Luck. Those QBs combined for three passing touchdowns, five interceptions and 21 sacks. Next up? Andy Dalton and the Bengals.
Top 5: 1. Patriots 2. Steelers 3. Cardinals 4. Panthers 5. Broncos
Oh, ESPN. They are one of two rankers this week that have the Panthers ahead of the Broncos. While it might seem ridiculous to have your number five team ranked below a team they already defeated (especially with so little info to base these rankings on), it’s not like I think people should rank the Seahawks behind the Rams. But does ESPN think if the Panthers played the Broncos next week the Panthers would win? If not, they are just being stubborn.
NFL.com: (3) last week 2
Another win for the Broncos on the back of the top defense in the league. Ignore the move down, which is more a commentary on what the Steelers are doing than what Denver isn't. On that note, received several tweets from Broncos fans that last week's No. 2 ranking was too high -- this coming after months of hate mail that they weren't given enough respect. Make up your mind already! Another solid enough start from Trevor Siemian, who hit 22 of 33 passes for 266 yards with a pick.
Top 5: 1. Steelers 2. Patriots 3. Broncos 4. Panthers 5. Cardinals
The Steelers were arguably the toughest team the Broncos faced in their 2015 playoff run, even with a slew of injuries. This would be a great AFC Championship game (yes, I am looking too far ahead).
MHR: (1) last week 2
That’s right. Trevor Siemian is a thing and that Broncos defense is every bit as good as it was in 2015. Take that, Arrowhead Pride. How does it feel to still be playing second fiddle to this magnificent Broncos franchise?
Top 5: 1. Broncos 2. Patriots 3. Steelers 4. Vikings 5. Cardinals
SB Nation: (1) last week 2
With Von Miller notching three sacks and a forced fumble to help the defending Super Bowl champions to 2-0, the question now is: How in the world will anyone score enough points to beat the Broncos?
Top 5: 1. Broncos 2. Patriots 3. Panthers 4. Steelers 5. Vikings
Say what you will about the Colts not being a good team this year. Luck is an amazing quarterback, and stopping his offense is not an easy task for any defense.
CBS Sports: (2) last week 5
That defense is special. They got after Andrew Luck and now face a Bengals team that can throw it around.
Top 5: 1. Patriots 2. Broncos 3. Steelers 4. Panthers 5. Giants
Fox Sports: (3) last week 6
It’s probably safe to say I was wrong about the Broncos by ranking them eighth in Week 1. Trevor Siemian still doesn’t look great (one touchdown, three interceptions), but the defense is outstanding and has now limited two elite quarterbacks in Andrew Luck and Cam Newton. The season is still young, but this looks eerily similar to 2015.
Top 5: 1. Patriots 2. Steelers 3. Broncos 4. Vikings 5. Cardinals
If the Broncos can beat the Bengals on the road this team will look even more like the 2015 Broncos. Actually - they might be looking even better.
MMQB: (5) last week 5
Lawrence Taylor was the last defensive player to win MVP in 1986. (Just making a note, for future reference.)
Top 5: 1. Patriots 2. Steelers 3. Panthers 4 Cardinals. 5. Broncos
This ranking might irritate you, but they also have the Seahawks above the Texans and Chiefs, so that’s entertaining.