Oct 18, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) walks off the field after defeating the Cleveland Browns 26-23 at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports
The Denver Broncos are sitting at 6-0. A solid start to the season. However, it seems like not a lot of people are ready to buy into the Broncos yet. They will get a chance to prove themselves out of the bye with their second half schedule.
Some of my quick takes through the Broncos’ first half of the season are simple. Defense is amazing, offense has been lacking, minus some bright spots, and special teams have been pretty sweet. (especially that Brandon McManus guy) I am interested to see how they fix up the offense during the bye week.
The offensive line did not allow a single sack against Cleveland. First time they have done that all year. So, it shows me that they are doing a solid job week after week. The running game improved, especially with Ronnie Hillman rushing for 111 yards. C.J. Anderson added 41 yards. While that is not much, he did average 3.2 yards a carry. In short, not too bad.
Now the only thing that the Broncos need to do, in my opinion, is help Peyton Manning adjust. Saying he had a poor performance on Sunday is being nice. I hope this bye week will allow him to focus on reading the defense.
Now, let us get into the power rankings.
As with every Tuesday, I take a look at this week’s power rankings. For this list, I cover the three lists from the key websites. Sports Illustrated, NFL, and ESPN. How will the Broncos fair in the rankings this week? Let us take a look and see.
Despite the win, Elliot Harrison drops the Broncos one spot to the number five spot in his power rankings. The four teams above the Broncos are the other four undefeated teams. Patriots, Packers, Bengals, and Panthers in order are above them.
I am sure Carolina’s huge win over the Seahawks gave them that boost to leapfrog the Broncos. So, I am okay with the Broncos being behind all four of them for the time being. Harrison points out Manning’s interceptions, but praises him for getting the job done when it matters most. And he still likes the defense. So, I will agree with Harrison this week.
ESPN- Broncos rise one spot to No. 3 It appears as if ESPN likes the defense when it comes to their power rankings. They have put the Broncos up one spot to number three, behind the Patriots and Packers.
In all honesty, I think that is a very generous spot to put the Broncos at. They even point out the negative for the Broncos. They point out about Manning’s historic interceptions at this point. They do not talk about the defense, but they send the message in the fine print. That they are 6-0 despite the interceptions. Means the defense is getting it done.
In fact, the Broncos defense has been stingy off of the offense’s turnovers. That will be a piece on its own, but credit the defense.
So, here is where I start scratching my head just a little bit. The Monday Morning Quarterback Fine 15, written by Peter King, puts the Broncos outside of the top five. In fact, he has them at number six in his rankings.
The fact that he has them below the Jets now really surprises me. I know that the Manning has had some struggles, but perhaps he sees something that I do not see in the team above the Broncos.
And it could be, in my opinion, on when it comes to facing opponents on a neutral field. While the Jets have improved, I just do not see them beating Denver on a neutral field.
On a side note, the Jets will be tested during the Broncos’ bye against the Patriots. I’ll give them a bit more credit if they go into Foxboro and win. But for now, not sure.