AFC West Power Rankings after final week of preseason

Denver Broncos, Sean Payton
Denver Broncos, Sean Payton / Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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Preseason usually doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things, but when you're a team like the Denver Broncos, it holds some weight.

Last year was an abysmal season for the Broncos, who were expecting a polar opposite outcome of what their fan base saw on the field.

Now, as Sean Payton is in his first season with the Broncos as head coach and the team is making their final roster cuts, we look ahead to the regular season. Did the preseason impact how we view the Broncos going into the 2023 campaign?

Let's dig into one final version of our preseason AFC West power rankings.

4. Las Vegas Raiders

In our previous power rankings, the Raiders claimed the no. 3 overall spot. Now, they have fallen to last in the division. That isn't necessarily an indictment on the Raiders, but has more to do with the Broncos and the direction they are headed.

The fact is, Las Vegas will likely be a mediocre football team once again in 2023. Jimmy Garoppolo is essentially a lateral move from Derek Carr, and even the rookie Aidan O'Connell looks like he wants that starting job. If Garoppolo cannot stay healthy, the Raiders are going to have a situation on their hands.

The Raiders will be able to score some points with Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs, but they're not going to set the world on fire.

Defensively, Las Vegas has much to prove. They were almost dead last in overall defense last year. It was unfortunate to see such a down year from Chandler Jones, but the Raiders are hoping for a bounce-back in terms of overall pass rush production behind Jones, Maxx Crosby and rookie Tyree Wilson.