I get it, I really do. The Denver Broncos are struggling, even still at 2-1.
The defense is one of the best in the league. I think everyone knows that by now based on the performance they showed on Sunday Night Football against the San Francisco 49ers.
The special teams were great, too, and have been so far this season. That, of course, excludes the missed 64-yarder from Brandon McManus. On Sunday, Corliss Waitman showed to be one of the best punters in the league.
The offense, well, we don’t necessarily need to go over that. It has struggled, yes. But, there are signs of improvement. Maybe, that is why the Broncos are still getting disrespected.
In the latest power rankings by The Athletic, the Broncos are in a confusing spot, based on who is above them.
Broncos at 13 in the power rankings
According to Bo Wulf of The Athletic, the Broncos are the 13th best team in the league. They sit below these teams in order.
The Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings, Cincinnati Bengals, and the Cleveland Browns.
Here is why Wulf has the Broncos where he does.
“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.”
While all of this is true, there are some questionable placings for the teams above them. I can say in confidence that the Broncos are better than the Bengals, Vikings, Browns, and Jaguars. I also feel that they can be better than a few others on the list too.
The Broncos are struggling but the offense is catching on. I think some of it is also Nathaniel Hackett, who is learning to be a coach every day. However, if you watch after the games, the team is 100% behind him.
The Bengals have far worse issues than that of the Broncos, and are actually 1-2 on the year. The Browns have their own issues on the offense, with Jacoby Brissett, and they lost to the Jets. The Vikings have Kirk Cousins at quarterback. The Jacksonville Jaguars have been the worst teams the last two seasons, so I’m not completely sold.
The Broncos are primed to be one of the best teams in the league, higher than the top-10. However, with everything playing out the way it has so far, I can understand the placement.
You can read the rest of the power rankings here.
Featured Image Via Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports