Predictably, the Broncos took a hit in the various power rankings after falling flat vs the Giants this weekend. Some sites penalized them more than others, some offering the benefit of the doubt while others pointed toward a very difficult month of games coming up next.
Here are the Broncos’ Week 7 power rankings around the web:
Last Week: 2 (-5)
A rookie head coach letting his team fall into a trap game the first time one comes around? That’s understandable, if not ideal. But doing it again, just a few weeks later? While coming off a Bye? That’s concerning. And for the first time there’s some room to really question Vance Joseph. If he’s such a great leader of men, how did he let this team take the field against the Giants so overconfident and under prepared? The same goes for his coordinators and the player leaders on the field and in the locker room.
This game should have been a foregone conclusion by halftime, and it was, but in the wrong direction.
Hope Rankings: Week 7
18. Denver Broncos (11)
Per usual: Note that these are “hope” rankings based on the outcome of the most recent game, not power rankings and certainly not standings.
7. Denver Broncos
Last Week's Ranking: 2
As I said in the opening, the NFL is wild. I don't care how much better a team is than its opponent, when it misses two field goals and turns the ball over three times, it's going to lose. The Broncos are one of the top teams in football, but they managed to get dominated by the undermanned Giants.
Coming off the bye may have played a part here. Teams often come out sleepwalking and forgetting the intensity needed to win. That seemed to be the case with Denver. The Broncos' run defense was the worst we've seen this season, Trevor Siemian made two stupid mistakes, and the pass rush didn't create the kind of havoc we've become accustomed to.
Having said all that, I still believe in the Broncos. I like what I've seen from the offense this season, and the defense is still championship-caliber. The defense had an off night and still only allowed 266 yards of total offense.
When the offense avoids the kind of missteps it made against New York, the Broncos are as tough to beat as anyone.
8. Denver Broncos
2017 record: 3-2
Week 6 ranking: No. 7
The Broncos lost a home game to a winless Giants team and saw their starting quarterback get hurt. Now they have to play three straight on the road, with trips to Kansas City and Philadelphia. Then, when they finally return home, the Patriots will be coming to town. It won't be an easy go, to say the least.
10. Denver Broncos (3-2, LW: 6)
Sunday’s debacle against the Giants brought on another round of some Broncos fans griping about Trevor Siemian. It’s fairly useless. The Broncos aren’t acquiring anyone better during this season. It’ll be hard for them to draft anyone who’s not a gamble, considering they won’t have a high pick. They already gambled once with Paxton Lynch, and that hasn’t worked out yet. Maybe they could go all-in on Kirk Cousins if he becomes a free agent, but there is going to be a lot of sticker shock with his contract. It’s probably best if Broncos fans get used to having Siemian as their quarterback.
15. Denver Broncos
Key injuries, poor play and falling to a winless team at home after your bye week? Denver's Sunday night loss about as bad as they come.
13. 3-2 BRONCOS
If ever there was a case of overlooking an opponent, it was the Broncos on Sunday night. Yet, you can't ignore that Vance Joseph's group is 3-2 after playing four of their first five games at home. While no one should overreact to the loss to the Giants, it did reveal a few offensive issues. Trevor Siemian threw for over 300 yards. Which tells you how overrated the 300-yard game is in today's NFL.
13. Denver Broncos (3-2)
Last Week’s Rank: 6
Points in MMQB Power Poll: 247
Highest-Place Vote: 10th (2)
Lowest-Place Vote: 16th
Last Week’s Result: Loss vs. N.Y. Giants, 23-10
Week 7 Opponent: at L.A. Chargers
Denver Broncos (sixth to 13th): Only way the Broncos could have looked less prepared on Sunday night would have been if multiple players had forgotten to wear pants (I’ll check the coaches film later today to confirm that wasn’t the case). Trevor Siemian’s poor play drew the headlines, but for this Broncos defense to allow 148 rushing yards to that Giants rushing attack is unforgivable.
9. Denver Broncos (3-2) | Last Week’s Rank: 4
The Giants were going to win a game eventually. But if the Broncos aspire to be one of the league’s top teams, that loss simply cannot happen on their home field in a prime-time game. The defense could not stop the Giants’ running game and QB Trevor Siemian made a costly gaffe with a pick-six.
They have a ton of injury issues heading into a big game against the Chargers on the road. What happened against the Giants?
I’m not sure a somewhat banged up QB, one WR out for a couple weeks, and one offensive lineman out for a couple of weeks really qualifies as “a ton of injury issues”. Injuries at significant positions? Sure. But it’s quality rather than quantity.
The Broncos’ ELO Rating made a sharp 45 point drop, and they fall quite a bit as a result. And, predictably, their postseason odds all took a hit as well.
#7 Denver Broncos
The defense is still among the top units, but the Broncos’ nERD plummeted 1.41 points.
7. DENVER (3-2)
Last week: 2
After ranking fifth in the league in net points per possession on offense after Week 2, the Broncos have fallen to 19th following outputs of 16, 16 and 10 points with a pick-6 against them on Sunday night.
Also of note: The Broncos' first five opponents have a collective 10-18 record. Their next five foes are a combined 18-11.
It’s probably not an exaggeration to say that the Broncos’ next four games will define the course of their 2017 season. Back to back away games against the division rival Chargers and Chiefs would be plenty tough enough, but they’re followed up by another away game against the tops-in-the-NFC Eagles, and then a home game against the always dangerous Patriots.
Success in this stretch will likely see the Broncos resume their prior place among the top 3 or top 5 teams. Failure in this stretch, though, will likely see them plummet in short order.