The Broncos bounced back to their winning ways this weekend after suffering a heartbreaking loss the week prior. They dominated the Chargers in all three phases of the game and defeated the spiraling team by the score of 24-7.
Now the Broncos sit at 7-6 and remain one of the hottest teams in the NFL as they have been victorious in six of their past seven games. As for the power rankings, the Broncos continue their rise from the basement to being nearly a top 10 team in all the rankings.
So, here is where the Denver Broncos rank in the power rankings around the web after their 24-7 defeat of their division rival Los Angeles Chargers this past Sunday.
Somehow, some way, the Broncos only trail the Chiefs by one game in the AFC West — and now, this Sunday’s matchup in Detroit might not be as a rough a road test as it might have looked. Denver’s defense took a tiny step back in the Week 13 loss to the Texans, but the Week 14 win over the Chargers was a huge statement performance. The Bolts turned the ball over twice, were stopped five times on fourth downs and were 0 for 12 on third downs, as Justin Herbert was knocked out of the game. The offense overcame some challenges, including a pick on Russell Wilson’s first pass of the game (which was actually Marvin Mims’ fault). That was the Broncos’ first true turnover on an opening drive this season. They’ve mostly been very good, which makes their first-drive-of-the-second-half struggles perplexing. But otherwise, this team has been sneaky dangerous for awhile, even if a lot of folks aren’t ready to admit it.
Biggest improvement: Defense
There can’t be another unit in the league with this kind of turnaround. From Week 2 to Week 5, the Broncos surrendered 164 points, including the infamous 70-20 loss to the Dolphins. Since Week 6, however, they have surrendered 12 touchdowns in eight games combined. They have 19 takeaways in those games, and the defense has powered the Broncos back into the playoff conversation. — Jeff Legwold
By beating the Chargers on the road, they stay in the playoff hunt. Now they face a tough road game at Detroit, which is their third straight on the road.
What else can we say at this point? I was absolutely thrilled with what I believed to be the fulfilling of my preseason prophecy that the Broncos were going to be terrible and Sean Payton was going to have egg on his face after slamming the previous regime. Well, they’ve won six of their last seven and, outside of the Lions this week, don’t have another winning team coming down the pike (including another game against the bottoming-out Chargers).
Look who’s one game out of the AFC West lead. The Broncos have gone 6-1 in their past seven games and have surrendered just 16 points per since Week 6.
Sunday: Beat Los Angeles Chargers 24-7
Fantasy spotlight: Courtland Sutton
In the last seven games, a stretch in which Denver has won six games, Sutton is 15th among wide receivers in fantasy points (10.91 per game), and he is carrying the Broncos’ passing game. Since Week 7, Sutton has accounted for 49.7 percent of Denver’s air yards. That ranks second in the NFL behind only Garrett Wilson. He had a 46-yard touchdown catch Sunday, his 10th of the season.
The Denver Broncos are in the mix in the AFC West.
Not that long ago, that notion would have seemed ridiculous. When the Broncos lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6, the team was 1-5. Now, after trouncing the Chargers in Los Angeles, the Broncos have peeled off six wins in seven games to move within a game of the Chiefs in the division.
Sunday’s win snapped an 11-game road losing streak inside the division, but quarterback Russell Wilson told reporters that the team can’t afford to take its foot off the gas now.
“We’re in a horse race. We’re three-quarters the way through and we have to finish last quarter strong,” Wilson said.
“While the Kansas City Chiefs are faltering down the stretch, the Broncos are thriving,” Sobleski said. “Denver has won six of its last seven games, owns the same record as the two squads currently sitting in the last two AFC wild-card spots and finds itself one game behind the Chiefs in the AFC West. Keep in mind that KC has won seven straight division titles. Sean Payton’s squad has a legitimate chance to emerge from the wreckage of last year, plus the start of this season, and do something special. The Broncos’ schedule is manageable, too. Once Denver gets past the Detroit Lions, who are coming off a loss to the Chicago Bears, the Broncos’ final three opponents own a combined 13-26 record. Don’t be surprised if Payton backs up all the talk from the offseason and leads his team to a division crown in his first season as head coach.”
12. Broncos (7-6, No. 14): The uncanny recovery continues.
The Broncos quickly cleaned up their cooling off act in Houston by taking down the Chargers with top-flight defense on the road. They also had Russell Wilson locked in again with better offense all-around.
We’re looking at an unholy jumble of .500 teams, with six different 7-6 squads in the AFC alone. But of that group, few have been as hot as Denver. The Broncos have won six of seven, and most of those have come against quality teams like Kansas City, Buffalo and Cleveland. I’m not sure how to sort out the league’s middle class, but this feels like a good place to start.
The Broncos’ path to the postseason has never been more clear. After toppling the mostly Justin Herbert–less Chargers on Sunday, Denver now owns a winning record and has one of the easiest remaining schedules in the league, with a reeling Lions team as its only remaining opponent that’s above .500. Denver’s main problem? There are five other AFC teams also at 7-6, plus another wild-card spot currently owned by the 8-5 Browns. The tiebreaker could come down to winning percentage in the conference, and Denver doesn’t fare too well there thanks to its early-season struggles, with five of its six losses coming against AFC opponents (while three of its seven wins have come against NFC teams). —Riley McAtee
The Broncos are one game out of first place in the AFC West. Amazing. The Broncos are very unlikely to win the division. Their Week 1 loss to the Raiders will probably kill them in tiebreakers, if it comes to that. But the fact that we should consider Chiefs/Broncos tiebreakers for the AFC West is remarkable.
The Broncos’ sixth win in their last seven games – a 24-7 drilling of the Chargers – actually was their first on the road against an AFC West rival since Oct. 6, 2019. Russell Wilson threw two touchdown passes, and the defense sacked Justin Herbert four times on the first six possessions, ultimately knocking him out with a broken finger.
The Broncos were on the second leg of a three-game road trip. After stubbing their cleats last week at Houston, Denver’s improving defense answered the bell against the rival Chargers at SoFi Stadium. The club came up with six sacks of quarterbacks Justin Herbert and Easton Stick and also forced each signal-caller into a turnover.
The Broncos came up with a road divisional road win for the first time since 2019, which happened to be against the Chargers in Los Angeles. At 7-6, Sean Payton’s squad is one of six teams in the AFC with that win-loss record.