Broncos near bottom, but second in division in early power rankings

Feb 12, 2024, 3:15 PM

The Denver Broncos finished the 2023 season with an 8-9 record, but the early NFL power rankings from ESPN aren’t being too kind to them.

Denver checks in at No. 23 in the league, but surprisingly second in the AFC West. The Las Vegas Raiders, who have beaten the Broncos eight straight times, are No. 24. The Los Angeles Chargers, who brought in Jim Harbaugh to be the head coach from Michigan, are No. 25.

It’s a bit surprising, frankly, to see Denver ahead of Vegas and L.A. on these. As mentioned, the Raiders have owned the Broncos as of late. And the Chargers have a much more talented roster, including Justin Herbert at quarterback who many still regard as one of the most intriguing young QBs in the NFL. Harbaugh wins everywhere he coaches.

And speaking of quarterbacks, the Broncos will likely need to find a new one this offseason. That’s what ESPN’s Jeff Legwold focused on in his blurb about the team.

“(The Broncos) seem poised to say goodbye if they release (Russell) Wilson in the coming weeks, as most expect. But they don’t have many draft picks in April (six) and the cap will be a challenge. Denver says it has a plan, but it will have to be a good one,” Legwold wrote.

He’s not wrong. The roster has a lot of holes, the salary cap is going to be in an issue, they don’t have a QB and they haven’t had a winning season since 2016. Other than that, things are great!

Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs are No. 2 in the ESPN power rankings for next season, trailing only the Baltimore Ravens. It’s a little funny because K.C. just beat Baltimore in the playoffs, but remember these are projections moving forward. The 49ers, Lions and Bills round out the top-5.

To see the full list, including the other six teams the Broncos are ahead of besides the Raiders and Chargers, click here.



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