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Power rankings around the web: Where the experts have the Broncos after their surprising week one defeat

The Broncos are all over the power rankings this week.

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Denver Broncos v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos entered week one with a lot of hype around them, but a disappointing loss to the Seattle Seahawks will have them falling down the power rankings which is expected.

This week, the Broncos are ranked as high as 10th overall and as low as 24th overall by two outlets. So, the media and power ranking rankers have mixed views on the Broncos currently, which makes sense. They should have won, had a lot of hype, but lost in such a bonkers way to the Seahawks that they’re quite difficult to accurately rank.

ESPN - 15th (12th last week)

15. Denver Broncos (0-1)

Preseason ranking: 12

Rookie who stood out: WR/returner Montrell Washington

It was not a night for many in the Broncos’ rookie class to unveil their potential — two of the 2022 draft picks, S Delarrin Turner-Yell and DE Eyioma Uwazurike, were among the game-day inactives — so Washington had the only real opportunity of the rookies to make an impact in Week 1. He discovered it’s going to be bumpy at times. A 21-yard kickoff return was his best effort in the return game as he didn’t quite show the decisiveness he had in the preseason, but his spirit was willing, and he made good decisions for the most part. — Jeff Legwold - 16th (8th last week)

Nathaniel Hackett worked his whole career to get to Monday night. Unfortunately, it won’t be a night he’ll recall fondly. The new Broncos coach watched his team lose two fumbles at the enemy 1-yard line, then found himself at the center of criticism for poor clock management in the final seconds of an ugly 17-16 loss to the Seahawks. Russell Wilson threw for 340 yards and a touchdown in his Denver debut, but he also bore some responsibility for a sloppy effort that included too many penalties and not enough execution at the most crucial moments of the game. Denver was a heavily hyped team following the blockbuster trade that brought Wilson to town. Monday night felt like the hangover after a summer-long party.

CBS Sports - 20th (17th last week)

The Broncos need to work on their goal-line offense, their clock management and their end-of-game situations. Other than that, the loss to Seattle in the opener was good for the defense.

Pro Football Talk - 24th (19th last week)

24. Broncos (0-1; No. 19): When it mattered most, Let Russ Cook became Let Russ Watch.

Yahoo Sports - 12th (11th last week)

12. Denver Broncos (0-1, LW: 11)

Nathaniel Hackett’s explanation of the final minute on Monday night, when the Broncos ran clock instead of calling timeout to go for it on fourth-and-5, all to set up a 64-yard field goal attempt ... it’s just not going to be that popular in Colorado, or anywhere else really.

The Athletic - 24th (12th last week)

23. Denver Broncos (0-1)

Huh? So you think a soon-to-be 34-year-old quarterback is worth two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-rounder and three veterans of disparate quality, plus a new contract with $165 million guaranteed? But you also don’t think that quarterback’s chances of converting a fourth-and-5, in a game he’s been waiting for all summer, are better than the odds of making a 64-yard field goal? Seems dumb!

USA Today - 23rd (18th last week)

23. Broncos (18): QB Russell Wilson showed rust with ball placement in his Denver debut. Nathaniel Hackett, the only rookie head coach saddled with a Week 1 defeat, managed the game quite questionably at the end. The offense was brutal, to say the least, in the red zone. And a dozen penalties? The Rams have earned the right to skip preseason, but this team certainly didn’t have that luxury.

The Ringer - 10th (10th last week)

10. Denver Broncos (last week: 10)

Record: 0-1 | Make Playoffs: TBD

Week 1 Result: Lost to the Seahawks, 17-16

I know it’s tempting, but let’s not hit the panic button yet in Denver. When the smoke clears from all the hot takes about Russell Wilson’s return to Seattle and Nathaniel Hackett’s truly bonkers end-of-game decision-making, what we’ll see is that there was plenty to like about Wilson’s debut for the Broncos. He was efficient in moving the offense down the field—the Broncos averaged 6.8 yards per play—and Denver outgained Seattle by 169 yards in the second half. The problem was red zone efficiency, settling for field goals instead of touchdowns, losing two fumbles at the goal line, and general sloppiness (like multiple delay of game penalties).