The Denver Broncos improved to 2-1 after defeating the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football by a score of 11 to 10. It was a hard-fought defensive battle between the two teams, but in the end, Russell Wilson led the Denver Broncos to a victory.
With this victory, the Broncos improved to 2-1 and now have won two games in a row after their surprising defeat in week one vs. the Seahawks. However, they both have been somewhat ugly wins with an error-filled victory in week two and with the offensive struggle-filled game in week three.
So, let us see where the experts around the web have the Broncos ranked in their weekly power rankings.
ESPN - 12th (Last week they were ranked 13th)
The Broncos are 2-1, so that’s good news. And Russell Wilson has pushed them through some important late-game drives in the two wins — also good news. But overall Wilson and the Broncos’ offense is a work in need of far more progress. He has looked a little out of sorts at times in the new scheme as he and coach Nathaniel Hackett try to find a balance in getting Wilson to move the ball out quickly and yet not taking away his ability to make plays off schedule. He has a 59.4% completion rate and two touchdown passes. But at key moments he has moved the ball, and there is optimism that more big plays are on the way. — Jeff Legwold
NFL.com’s Dan Hanzus - 14th (Last week they were ranked 17th)
If the Broncos find their groove and end up making noise in the AFC this year, they’ll look back and marvel at how fortunate they were to escape the season’s first three weeks with a winning record. With the Denver offense again unimpressive on Sunday night against the 49ers, the defense continued to carry the team — forcing two turnovers in the final 2:06 to clinch a bizarre-as-its-score 11-10 win. Expect to hear plenty of talk out of Denver this week about the go-ahead fourth-quarter touchdown drive piloted by Russell Wilson and the potentially galvanizing effect it can have on the attack going forward. We’ll see about that.
CBS Sports’s Pete Prisco - 14th (Last week they were 13th)
The offense actually showed some life on the last drive to beat the 49ers. Russell Wilson has to be better than he was for most of that game.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio - 14th (Last week they were 25th)
14. Broncos (2-1; No. 25): Russell Wilson‘s meal took nearly as long to cook as Jan’s osso buco.
The Athletic’s Bo Wulf - 13th (Last week they were 12th)
One can only imagine how dominant the Broncos defense was during portions of training camp. The Broncos rank 32nd in the league in red zone offense (converting just 14.3 percent of their trips into touchdowns), while they rank first in the league in red zone defense (allowing touchdowns on just 25 percent of opponents’ trips). No wonder their games have been such a slog.
But a win is a win, especially given the state of what was supposed to be the best division in the NFL. With the Raiders winless and the Chargers so banged up, the Broncos have a chance to rack up wins — they play both teams over the next three weeks. Big picture, though, it’s hard not to worry the Broncos might have committed to a lemon version of Russell Wilson. It has only been three games, but he ranks 18th in EPA per dropback and has career lows in completion percentage (59.4 percent) and yards per attempt (7.0) while adding little value with his legs (he’s averaging a career-low 2.4 rushing yards per game). Adjusting to a new offense takes time, for him and the rest of the team, but this is not what the Broncos thought they paid for.
USA Today’s Nate Davis - 21st (Last week they were 27th)
21. Broncos (27): Miraculously, they’re tied for the AFC West lead. But Denver’s playoff aspirations currently reside with one of the league’s elite defenses, not because of anything QB Russell Wilson and this offense are putting on tape.
Yahoo Sports Frank Schwab - 14th (Last week they were 12th)
The Broncos offense looks terrible through three games. All of the yelling about Nathaniel Hackett’s game management overshadowed that Russell Wilson hasn’t looked good either. I should be patient, given that it’s just three games after an offseason of total change, but it has been three ugly games on offense. There should be some legitimate concern.
Cris Collinsworth proclaimed the Broncos’ offense fixed on their final touchdown drive against the 49ers. But the only real difference was that Russell Wilson was willing to leave the pocket again and pick up some first downs. Will that continue?