Did everyone bring their measuring tapes, class?
Pull ‘em out and together we’ll examine our weekly power rankers and see whose knees held steady and who got all wobbly after a weekend full of upsets.
5. Denver Broncos
Last Week: 5 (0)
I know. Trust me, I know. And I agree. The Broncos deserve to drop after that crap show in Buffalo. But the Raiders’ loss was even worse, and the Packers’ and Titans’ victories weren’t enough to justify either of them rising to 5th. I’ve got to give someone the benefit of the doubt, so it’s going to be the Broncos. Next week’s game vs Oakland looms large.
Hope Rankings, Week 4
There weren’t many surprises in Week 2, but this weekend provided plenty of eye-opening results. The Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers all looked surprisingly vulnerable in defeats, while teams like the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars won easily.
5. Denver Broncos
Last Week's Ranking: 6
You could put a lot of this Denver loss on Trevor Siemian. I have a lot of confidence in him and believe he is a solid player, but he made too many mistakes against the Bills. He directly cost the team points when he tried to force a ball with pressure in his face within field-goal range. That was one of his two interceptions.
Siemian needs to realize he has a running game to lean on this year—we should mention that Jamaal Charles is starting to look like a big part of it—and that he still has a top-notch defense. Forcing passes shouldn't even be on his mind.
Denver was close to getting this game where it wanted it to be. What the Broncos wanted was to get ahead early and make things one-dimensional for the Buffalo offense. This would have forced Buffalo to consistently pass-block against the Broncos' stellar pass rush. However, Denver never quite got the Bills into that game.
Mistakes allowed this one to slip away. Some came from Siemian. Emmanuel Sanders had a big drop when the Broncos were rolling too. Denver is still a contender, but as I said in the opening, even the best teams can be undone by mistakes.
That’s some solid analysis, and an interesting perspective.
5. Denver Broncos
2017 record: 2-1
Week 3 ranking: No. 7
Trevor Siemian: 58.8 Total QBR. The Bills have allowed the fewest points per game this season, so Siemian's 36 Total QBR in Week 3 can be forgiven. If he does the same this week against the Raiders, who have allowed the worst QBR so far (74), there might not be as much forgiveness.
In my opinion, the Raiders’ secondary is just what Trevor Siemian needs to get back on track. The offensive line just needs to keep him clean long enough to do it. The left side of the line will be just fine, but getting Menelik Watson some help at RT is critical.
7. Denver Broncos (2-0, LW: 9)
Trevor Siemian has a reputation as a game manager. That’s fine; he has done pretty well in that role. That’s why it was so odd to see him forcing things and making mistakes against the Buffalo Bills. That style doesn’t suit him. Also, the penalty against Von Miller is still the worst I’ve seen called in all my time watching the NFL.
Broncos fans aren’t alone in being pissed off about the crappy penalty against Von Miller.
15. Denver Broncos (-11)
No, Von, you definitely didn't lose Sunday's game in Buffalo. You got jobbed by the ref while your teammates were busy underperforming.
The Broncos drop 11 spots while the Raiders and Steelers only drop 5 spots each. That just seems incredibly fair, don’t you think?
11. 2-1 Denver Broncos (-5)
What is this Broncos team? A contender for the AFC West that will be there with the Raiders and Chiefs come season's end? Or is Vance Joseph's group a marginal wild-card squad? While many readers wanted them in the top five last week, remember that both of Denver's first two games were at home. Playing a solid defense -- on the road -- evened things out, if you will. And there was nothing fluky about the loss to the Bills. The Broncos have always boasted one of the premier home-field advantages in sports -- which will be tested with the Raiders coming to town this week.
I think the Bills defense is a bit more than just solid- like the Broncos’, it’s among the best in the league. And there was indeed some flukyness going on, including a 50 yard catch overturned on scanty evidence and a terrible unsportsmanlike conduct call.
8. Denver Broncos (2-1)
Last Week’s Rank: 6
Points in MMQB Power Poll: 344
Highest-Place Vote: Fifth (2)
Lowest-Place Vote: 12th (3)
Last Week’s Result: Loss at Buffalo, 26-16
Week 4 Opponent: vs. Oakland
17. Denver Broncos (2-1) | Last Week’s Rank: 7
That’s why it was unwise to get carried away about QB Trevor Siemian’s performance against the Cowboys in Week 2. He was back to looking like a former seventh-round draft pick with his two-interception performance in the loss to the Bills.
A ten spot drop is just way too much. But this yahoo also has the Cowboys at 6th just a week after the Broncos crushed them. If you click the link, be prepared to laugh at the ridiculous degree of knee-jerking. 17 out of 32 teams saw their ranking move by 7 or more... and most of those moved 9 or 10 places. I’ll keep WaPo in this series for laughs, but this dude’s just clickbait.
They are back home this week after their first loss at Buffalo to face the Raiders in a big division game. They have to get the offense back on track.
If the 25 point victory last week moved the Broncos up 5 spots, it seems like a 10 point loss shouldn’t move them down 4. But that’s just me.
The loss to the Bills drops the Broncos’ expected win total from 10-6 back to 9-7 according to FiveThirtyEight. They also dropped the Broncos from 5th to 7th. And the projected chance of the Broncos making the playoffs and winning the AFC West dropped by 12% and 10% respectively. However, a week 4 victory over the Raiders would surely change things significantly.
#1 Denver Broncos
NumberFire’s results are quite interesting, because despite dropping 0.65 points in the nERD metric, the Broncos actually move up a spot to take over #1. The increase was made possible by the Patriots’ 0.79 drop. The Jaguars in 3rd is notable, and the Chiefs remain at #4 despite their nERD increasing by 0.96.
6. DENVER (2-1)
LAST WEEK: 5
One thing that the Broncos hope to change in future games is their opponents’ drive-start position. Denver ranks second in first downs (1.4) and fourth in net yards (23.6) allowed per possession, yet is 10th in net points, in part because their opponents' average drive-start position is at the opponents' 36-yard line -- thanks to eight drives that have begun in Denver territory, including five that followed turnovers.
A late addition to this week’s post. I’ll begin tracking Andrew Mason’s weekly NFL power rankings going forward.
The Broncos dropped about 3 spots on average in the power rankings around the web this week. Across our dozen power rankings, they’re averaging 8th place.
This weekend the Broncos return home and hope to get back on an even keel against the division rival Raiders & QB Derek Carr. If they win, they’ll be 2-0 in the division with an important tiebreaker over Oakland. Sunday afternoon’s game just might be the most important game in the league through the first four weeks of the 2017 season.
It’s also notable that the Redskins are visiting the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium this weekend. Can they be a pal to the Broncos in back to back weeks by upsetting another AFC West rival? And can the Chargers finally get into the W column when the Eagles come visit their toy stadium? Find out on the next episode of Dragon Ba... err, NFL 2017!
Whose ranking would you call bull on this week?
This poll is closed
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