The hits keep coming from the 2020 season for the Denver Broncos. Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright had George Chahrouri of PFF on Broncos Country Tonight to talk about the 2020 rookie class.
In an article ranking the most productive rookie classes in 2020, PFF had Denver dead last. The rankings took several factors into account, including Wins Above Replacement (WAR). While rankings like this make fans feel as if PFF just doesn’t like the Broncos, I think these kind of articles tell a different story.
While we have a tendency to hate on PFF when they say bad things about Denver, we certainly do jump on any positive to reinforce our love of our team. For me, I think articles and rankings like this are an important indicator about where the team falls on the national spectrum.
As Ryan and Ben grill Chahrouri about the ranking, bringing up snap counts, and trying to understand how the numbers played out, the real information came in the fact that this is just one measuring stick. PFF ranks teams and players based on their formula. Loving and hating it usually depends on where your favorite team and players are ranked.
Dead last? We hate them. But the honest assessment here is that the Broncos have fallen off the map ever since winning Super Bowl 50. National media coverage looks at Denver in the same way they used to look at teams like the Bills.
And let’s avoid the whole, “small market” or “flyover” complaints. Denver and Colorado are incredibly popular places nationally. Just ask the natives with their “Native” bumper stickers (and yes, I used to have one).
While I appreciate the defense launched by Ryan and Ben, pointing out the play of Lloyd Cushenberry III as the only OL who took every snap of every game, or Jerry Jeudy as a great talent, it doesn’t really matter. 5-11 teams don’t get the same benefit of the doubt that 11-5 teams get.
Perennial playoff teams can be excused from the magnifying glass that focuses on all the ugly warts. Half a decade without a playoff run earns you nothing in the eyes of the national media.
There’s the true crux of it all. I mentioned it on the MHR Radio Podcast earlier this week. Every ranking, and every national take that ignores the Broncos and shoves them down at the bottom proves a point.
The Broncos have dipped their toes in the pool of irrelevancy. The riptide could pull them out to sea quicker than you can imagine, and the next thing you know, the Broncos are invisible in the eyes of the national media.
Now, if things can be turned around quickly, none of this will matter. Can it be done? Of course. The talent level is there to produce a winner. There is one piece missing.
If it can be figured out soon, rankings like this won’t even register on the radar of Broncos Country.