The Broncos have won three straight games, defeated the Chiefs and Bills in back-to-back weeks, and appear to be a team on the rise. So, that means we can start looking at the power rankings once again!
I scrapped this weekly post about a month ago because nobody cares about this if they’re consistently ranked 30th each week, but thankfully, things have changed. They have beat two AFC favorites in back-to-back weeks and are coming off a tough road victory on Monday Night to beat the Buffalo Bills in the final seconds with a game-winning field goal.
So let us take a look at where the Broncos rank in the power rankings around the web after their 24-22 defeat of the Buffalo Bills.
I’m going to start with an apology. Vance Joseph, I’m sorry. I underestimated you and your defense. In my defense, things were looking a little rough early. But boy, since the first Kansas City game, the effort’s been pretty terrific, even with the late TD drive allowed Monday. Lemme also shout out Russell Wilson, who hasn’t always had it easy (or made it easy for himself) in Denver. But Monday was strong, as the 34-year-old delivered some clutch throws at winning time — including a few clever flip passes under duress — to sting the Bills’ defense on the two late scoring drives. There were two three-and-outs and a fumble in the second half, so the offense remains an unfinished project. But even two botched extra points somehow didn’t prevent a second straight statement victory over a quality foe.
In the Broncos’ current playoff drought — they haven’t been to the postseason since they played in Super Bowl 50 to close out the 2015 season — one of the biggest failings has been the erosion of one of the best home-field advantages in all of sport. What was once one of the most difficult places to play is now a better-than-even bet for the opponents — the Broncos have finished 4-4 or worse at home in five of the past seven seasons, with losing records at home in three of those years. The Broncos lost two consecutive home games to open this season and are 3-3 at home so far. The win over the Chiefs was an enormous lift just before their Week 9 bye, but if the Broncos really want the faithful fully back in the fold, they have to continue to show them something at home. The Vikings game begins the second-half home schedule that includes games against the Browns, Chargers and Patriots as well. — Jeff Legwold
Do you like constant change, which often has no connection to anything you previously watched or knew? I have the football league just for you. The Broncos were 1-5 and were legitimately bad. They’ve won three in a row since then, and have back-to-back wins against the Chiefs and Bills. Go figure that out. Or figure anything out in this weird NFL season.
The Broncos sent a first- and second-round draft pick to New Orleans in the offseason for the right to hire Sean Payton, so he’s not going anywhere, especially with Denver playing the way it is now. The Broncos won their third straight despite getting outgunned 7.1 yards per play to 4.2 yards per play by the Bills.
That 70-point debacle in Miami feels like it happened 70 years ago.
They are 4-5 and somehow in the playoff chase. That’s unreal. Sean Payton has turned this thing around.
Is it time for us to let that whole 50-point-loss-to-the-Dolphins thing go? After a stunning (and very bizarre) 24-22 win on Monday Night Football in Buffalo, the Broncos have now won three straight games. Their defense has turned a major corner, holding each of their past three opponents to 22 points or fewer (and two of those opponents, the Chiefs and Bills, have elite quarterbacks).
Sure, it would have been nice to see Denver’s offense score more points off of turnovers in Buffalo, but Russell Wilson and Co. were clutch when it counted. It’s too soon to talk about the Broncos’ playoff hopes, but given the way this season started, this is a significant improvement, and for the first time in a long time, Denver fans should have a reason to be excited about the future. —Lindsay Jones
Coming up with three straight wins is impressive. Two of those wins coming against the Chiefs and Bills is even better. But do you want to know the most impressive part? Denver is allowing just 16.7 points per game to its last four opponents. Not bad for the guys that allowed 70 in Week 3 and 28-plus points in four of their first five games.
Denver played a great game against the Bills and despite some oddities, did end up with the result the universe intended despite a circuitous route to get there. Buffalo got a missed extra point, a fumble that bounced right back into their running back’s hands and some other fortunate breaks, but the Broncos remained poised and took advantage of Buffalo’s completely flummoxing decision to continue zero blitzing Russell Wilson with its pedestrian pass rush. Now winners of three straight, Sean Payton’s quest for a playoff berth still lives.
The Broncos got another big win against an AFC power, sandwiching their Week 9 bye with upsets over the Chiefs and Bills. The offense has hit a balanced grooved with Russell Wilson and the defense is making a lot more plays, too.