The Broncos at one point had a 21-3 lead over the Washington Commanders but they could not slow a second-half rally by quarterback Sam Howell and ended up losing by the score of 35-33 in this one. Now, the Broncos have fallen to 0-2 despite getting two winnable home games to start the season and now will now head east to take on the Miami Dolphins and their high-scoring offense.
Now with back-to-back disappointing defeats, the Broncos are squarely in the cellar of the power rankings, and rightfully so. With all that said, here is where the Broncos rank in the power rankings around the web after their week two loss to the Washington Commanders.
CBS Sports - 27th
They are 0-2 and head to Miami this week to play the Dolphins. They seemed to be cruising to a victory over the Commanders, but it all fell apart. Bad look.
NFL.com - 23rd
Denver is one of two 0-2 teams to have lost both contests at home, along with New England. The Broncos’ losses have been by 1 and 2 points. It feels like they were a few plays away from being 2-0, but you can’t overlook the fact that the Broncos were up 21-3 Sunday with the ball on the Washington 40-yard line midway through the second quarter. From there, Washington put up 18 straight points (and it should have been more), as Denver’s offense froze and the defense allowed scoring chances on six straight possessions. Russell Wilson’s second-quarter fumble and third-quarter interception sandwiched a pair of three-and-outs. Sean Payton’s postgame comments seemed to center around Wilson and the offense. Where this thing goes is anyone’s guess, but the road to the playoffs is longer now.
ESPN - 28th
Player: LB Josey Jewell
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season
Jewell has consistently been one of the team’s most productive, most prepared and most reliable players in his time with the Broncos. He signed a two-year deal before the 2022 season and is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. Jewel is a mainstay in all of the personnel groupings on defense — he played 56 of 59 defensive snaps in the opener and 65 of 73 defensive snaps in Sunday’s loss to the Commanders. The new coaching regime has big plans for rookie Drew Sanders at linebacker at some point, so the Broncos will face a decision down the road if those snaps come at Jewell’s expense or not. — Jeff Legwold
Pro Football Talk - 28th
28. Broncos (0-2, No. 25): Sean Payton is already making it subtly clear that, if Russell Wilson doesn’t figure things out, he won’t be back next year.
USA Today - 28th
28. Broncos (25): They opened 0-2 at home for the first time. Per ESPN, Sean Payton had been 72-0 with an 18-point lead … before Sunday. Another, uh, memorable campaign already brewing in the Rocky Mountains.
Bleacher Report - 28th
This wasn’t how the Sean Payton era was supposed to start in Denver.
After losing a last-second heartbreaker to the Commanders on Sunday, the Broncos have opened the season with back-to-back home defeats for the first time in franchise history. The 21-3 lead that the Broncos squandered was tied for the fourth-largest blown lead in Denver in team history, according to the Associated Press.
After the game, Payton tried to explain to reporters how things went sideways for the team.
“It’s really a tale of two games. The first, call it a quarter-and-a-half, we played things kind of like wanted to,” Payton said. “I didn’t think we played well defensively, second half. I think they were 100 percent. Every time they entered the red zone, they scored a touchdown. Offensively, we were slow with our communication. That was frustrating. That’s got to start with us, with me. We never got the momentum back, so it was disappointing.”
There are at least some positive takeaways in the loss. Russell Wilson played much better than in the opener, including a Hail Mary that gave Denver a chance to tie things late. But the two-point conversion came up short, and now the Broncos find themselves mired in last place in the AFC West with the Los Angeles Chargers.
With the Broncos headed to Miami to face the surging Dolphins in Week 3, an 0-3 start is looking like probable for Payton’s squad.
Yahoo Sports - 28th
I can’t believe officials didn’t call defensive pass interference on a two-point conversion with no time left. It was a clear penalty. The Broncos shouldn’t have been in that position anyway. They led 21-3 at home and couldn’t finish. After three touchdowns on three drives, the Broncos had four first downs in their next six drives. Those drives: fumble, punt, punt, interception, field goal, punt. For a brief moment, it looked like Russell Wilson was back, and then the rest of the game happened.