Lots of Broncos fans thought the team would lose. No one anticipated the Broncos losing like that, though. But for what Id’ guess is a mixture of several reasons, the large score differential didn’t result in a big drop for the Broncos in the power rankings around the web this week. A loss to the Patriots in the next game might not drop them far either. But if the Broncos roll over for the Bengals in Week 11? Look out below!
As always, the subtitle for each power ranking site is also a link to the current week’s power rankings article from that website.
Mile High Report:
24. Denver Broncos
Last Week: 23 (-1)
The Broncos maybe ought to move down further after that blowout, but then again the Eagles are the best team in the NFL right now and it was a highly uncharacteristic faceplant by the Broncos’ defense that allowed it to happen. That, and most of the teams currently ranked below the Broncos also lost. But all signs point to things getting no better for Denver from here.
If there’s a silver lining, it might be this: Von Miller is on pace for a 16 sack season, which would be the 2nd most prolific of his career.
25. Denver Broncos (Last Week: 24)
Per usual: Note that these are “hope” rankings based on the outcome of the most recent game, not power rankings and certainly not standings.
23. Denver Broncos
Last Week's Ranking: 16
It's over for the Denver Broncos. Falling to 3-5 isn't the end of the world for Denver, but an inability to play through its championship-caliber defense is.
The Broncos have an elite defense. Only the Carolina Panthers allow fewer yards per game. If they could figure out how to lean on that defense and stop making mistakes in the other two phases, they'd be a playoff team. Unfortunately, Denver cannot stop making mistakes on offense and on special teams, and it's costing the team wins.
Turnovers have been the biggest issue, as they constantly put the defense in rough spots. Denver tried switching to Brock Osweiler at quarterback in an effort to put an end to them, but it didn't work. He tossed two interceptions against the Eagles.
Sometimes turnovers are just a part of your season. I've been there; it feels like there's nothing you can do about it, and it stinks. Barring an unexpected turnaround on offense over the final eight games, Denver is going to miss the postseason and waste another year of having this special defense.
Chris Simms is nailing it pretty much every week.
21. Denver Broncos
2017 record: 3-5
Week 9 ranking: No. 17
Preseason ranking: 9. The Broncos won a Super Bowl with a great defense and below-average quarterback play, but this season, their QB play has bottomed out. Denver ranks 29th in Total QBR this season and has seen a drastic fall in the standings and our rankings as a result.
22. Denver Broncos (3-5, LW: 20)
The Broncos are turning back to Brock Osweiler at quarterback this week, and that’s not surprising. What is surprising is coach Vance Joseph’s explanation: “It felt good to our team — it was a confident week and the energy was better. It was urgent, it was detailed and the meetings were better. Brock’s experience and Brock’s personality really helped our team bounce back and gave us confidence going into this week. I think Brock’s earned it from that standpoint.” The Broncos lost 51-23 on Sunday and looked horrendous, the worst they’ve looked for a few seasons. I suppose Joseph is trying to keep everything positive during a bad streak, but talking about how Osweiler helped preparation and urgency before an embarrassing loss is not going to play well with an angry fan base.
Man, you’ve got that right. Broncos fans are fed up with getting the mushroom treatment.
20. Denver Broncos
Issues under center are legit. But previously top-ranked defense just embarrassed itself. Expect losing skid to reach five vs. rested Patriots.
22. 3-5 BRONCOS
Not sure anyone foresaw the Broncos getting absolutely throttled in Philadelphia on Sunday. Losing? Sure. But my Twitter feed suggested that my prediction of the Eagles winning 27-13 was off because there was no way Philly would score that many points on THAT defense. Right. The Eagles didn't -- they scored 51, almost doubling the way-off prediction. Also way off: Brock Osweiler, who showed plenty of mobility to go with his inaccuracy. Saw where a guy who covers Denver said the season is over. Sounds harsh. So is playing the Patriots this week.
Part of me wants to crack a joke about the White Walkers coming for Denver here, but honestly the team’s situation against the Patriots this week just sucks so much that no joke could reanimate the Broncos’ hopes.
22. Denver Broncos (3-5)
Last Week’s Rank: 17
Points in MMQB Power Poll: 166
Highest-Place Vote: 17th
Lowest-Place Vote: 26th
Last Week’s Result: Loss at Philadelphia, 51-23
Week 10 Opponent: vs. New England
Denver Broncos (17th to 22nd): I’m not sure Brock Osweiler was any better (or more careful with the ball) than Trevor Siemian had been, but he’ll draw a second straight start because . . . what else are you going to do? The good news is that the Patriots are coming to town and Tom Brady has never beaten Osweiler in Denver. It is his white whale.
That’s true enough, but an 0-1 record for Brady inspires little hope for Broncos fans.
28. Denver Broncos (3-5) | Last Week’s Rank: 25
Is anyone surprised that starting Brock Osweiler on Sunday against the Eagles didn’t fix the Broncos’ QB problems? The next move must be to Paxton Lynch as soon as he’s deemed ready to play, as he works his way back from his preseason shoulder injury. In the meantime, Coach Vance Joseph is sticking with Osweiler. No matter what happens at QB, the defense must play far better than it did in Philadelphia.
The poor quarterback play has impacted the rest of the team. That dominant defense wasn't so dominant against the Eagles.
#21 Denver Broncos
It’s hit the point where you’re going to just have to follow the link if you want to see the usual picture from FiveThirtyEight. The Broncos are too far down the list to get in the same screenshot as the column headers, and I won’t fudge their position by pasting the headers in lower.
What’s relevant from FiveThirtyEight this week? 1) Their expected win total for the Broncos is now 6.5 W to 9.5 L. Assuming that rounds down to 6 wins, I’m still not entirely sure where those wins come from... or that they should come at all. 2) the Broncos’ odds of winning the AFC West are now about 2% and 3) the Broncos still have a 12% chance of making the playoffs... for now.
#16 Denver Broncos
Finally, the long needed adjustment begins to happen from NumberFire. At 16th, I can’t do an proportional screenshot for NumberFire any more either. The Broncos’ nERD score has dropped from 4.32 last week to just 0.99 and could soon go negative. But the 24.2% chance that NumberFire is calculating for the Broncos to make the playoffs is a bit of a head-scratcher.
Then again, the Jaguars’ nERD score of 15.94 is 6.67 points higher than any other team, so NumberFire’s metric continues to appear to be pretty useless. I get the feeling their algorithms may give way too much weight to defense.
21. DENVER (3-5)
Last week: 18
The Broncos still rank first or second in forcing three-and-outs and net yardage and first downs allowed per possession, but they dropped from seventh to 15th in net points allowed per possession because of Sunday's loss at Philadelphia. Denver allowed seven touchdowns, as many as its defense had permitted in the previous five games combined.
Update: Mase’s power rankings have been added.
Last week I mentioned two main questions that were themes of that edition of the power rankings: Would Trevor Siemian be benched? And is the Broncos’ season slipping away? Well, the answer to both of those is a resounding Yes. The next question might be: is there an answer on the Broncos’ roster? Right now, my money’s on No.