Dec 28, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips reacts following the overtime win against the Cincinnati Bengals at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 20-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
After a thrilling overtime win against the Cincinnati Bengals, where do the Denver Broncos stand in this week’s four big power rankings for Week 17?
Broncos Country can breathe a little bit easier now. For the fifth straight season, the Broncos will be playing in the postseason this January after coming away with a huge 20-17 overtime win.
For a team that has struggled in the last two games, it was nice to see the Broncos play with that kicking and screaming mentality in the second half.
So, what does this mean for the Broncos going forward? I think it gives them some momentum going into the postseason. They can still get that hard-earned bye for the wild card round as long as they take care of business against San Diego.
With the regular season one week from completion, we take a look at the final power rankings leading up to the Week 17 clash against the Chargers. Let us see what our four sites had to say this week.
Sean Tomlinson of Bleacher Report gave the Broncos a solid boost in this week’s power rankings. Taking them from nearly out of the top ten to the number seven spot after the win over the Bengals.
I am kind of at a standstill with this position. Not because of where the Broncos are ranked, but who is in front of them. The only team I question being ahead of Denver is the team in the sixth spot, the Seattle Seahawks.
But it is not my rankings, so I will keep on with what Tomlinson had to say about the Broncos this week.
He points out that perhaps, the Denver Broncos found their future quarterback in Brock Osweiler. I would have to agree. He has done a solid job since becoming the starter, going 4-2 on the year with over 1,700 yards passing nine touchdowns and four interceptions.
Is Brock the future in Denver? Some will argue yes, and some will argue no. For that, I will give my takes on that once the season is over. For now, the Broncos are in a good spot. Let us see if they can carry the momentum and the drive of Osweiler to some key wins.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.com has given the Broncos some credit and gave them a one spot bump up. Almost similar to the Bleacher Report rankings. But we will keep calm for this rankings and take a look at Harrison’s analysis of the Broncos.
Sometimes it is a good idea to point out the positive and negative. Despite the win, Harrison does that. The negative he points out is the Brandon McManus miss. And he does not look at the kicker, he focuses on why the coaching staff settled for the long field goal.
Could the Broncos offense gotten more yards on offense to give McManus a shorter field to work with. Maybe. But do not forget how thin the air is in Denver. Had McManus not pulled off a Mike Vanderjagt, he would make that.
ESPN showed McManus’ field goal range and noted that he had made every field goal from 45 yards or less up until that point. He was 20/20 until that field goal. Sometimes, it just happens to be a miss at a bad time.
While I won’t give McManus a pass for missing the field goal, he at least redeemed himself with the go-ahead field goal in overtime. At least this can be taken with a grain a salt and the kicker from Temple will realize that kicks like that can’t happen in the playoffs.
Dec 28, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) celebrates after the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 20-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
I can’t really complain with ESPN giving the Broncos a significant boost in their power rankings. This week, they jumped four spots to number four this week in the final regular season rankings.
As with how ESPN operates, they do not give us a full blown analysis, but some quick takes of a sort. The biggest thing that point out is the second half comeback. After not scoring in the second half in three straight games, they provide 14 in the half plus three more in overtime.
I am sure all Broncos fans can agree how frustrating it was to see the Broncos lose games against the Raiders and Steelers where they had control in the first half. For me, the Steelers one hurt the most because they had them backed into a corner but could not finish the job.
One interesting stat to point out. The Broncos are the only team this season to have multiple wins when trailing by 14 points or more. They have done so three times. Most of the other teams only have one such win.
We won’t complain. Pretty cool stat to be a part of for the 2015 season.
Like ESPN, Peter King does not say a whole lot about the Broncos in his Fine Fifteen. However, he does put the Broncos in the top five this week.
He points out something interesting. With Brock Osweiler a work in progress, the defense could be a vital piece to the Broncos getting far in January. And I could not agree more.
If Osweiler is going to be the starter in the playoffs, the defense is going to need to come up big. And they showed that they can do that when called upon. Let us see if it carries on.
What do you think of the rankings this week? Leave your comments below. Go Broncos!