Friday, September 9, 2022

Denver Broncos Week 1 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2022 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 1 roundup for the Denver Broncos in our consensus 2022 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 12

Who's on the hot seat: QB Russell Wilson

Luckily for the Broncos, the guy who faces the most heat this season is the guy most equipped to handle it. The locker room, the city, the state and the region expect Wilson can take the Broncos where Peyton Manning did. Wilson embraces pressure, but the Broncos acquired him in a franchise-changing trade. A slow start for him or a first-year coaching staff would certainly bring about grumbling from the team's faithful -- as there was in 2012, when Manning opened his first season with the team 2-3. But the Broncos didn't lose for the remainder of that regular season. Wilson has met expectations so far, but he had better get used to carrying them in a place where more than one quarterback has buckled under them. -- Rank: 8

Will the Broncos let Russ cook? Russell Wilson now stands as the centerpiece of the Denver Broncos. Consider the $245 million contract extension signed last week as the final hint you (hopefully) did not need. My question is whether Wilson -- flush with both cash and organizational juice -- will air it out with more frequency than we saw for most of his Seattle run. Pete Carroll's stubborn reliance on running the football didn't always sit well with Wilson, and there's logic to the idea of Wilson's offensive philosophies having better traction with new Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett. That said, a Denver running game led by Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon has serious potential. This is an offense where balance makes sense.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 17

They went out and traded to get Russell Wilson to make a real Super Bowl push. But I still see them as the fourth team in the division.

The Athletic -- Rank: 12

The good news: Entering Year 11, Russell Wilson has only had one season with a losing record.

The bad news: That one losing season was last year, when he also missed games for the first time. The Broncos are counting on that being a blip rather than a sign of things to come.

Nugget to remember: Of the 10 teams with new head coaches this season, the Broncos are the only one to pair a first-time head coach with first-time coordinators on both sides of the ball. Maybe this is Wilson's team more than it is Nathaniel Hackett's, but it might be reasonable to expect some growing pains.

The Ringer -- Rank: 10

The pressure is on for star quarterback Russell Wilson—who last week received a massive contract extension to lock him in as Denver's long-term starter—and head coach Nathaniel Hackett to make the Broncos relevant again. Wilson is already a much-appreciated presence in Denver and an obvious upgrade from their quarterback situation in 2021, but just an improvement over last year won't be enough for the 33-year-old Wilson to overtake both Mahomes and Herbert in the AFC West.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 11

The Broncos didn't play any starters in the preseason and had some rough moments, which caused a freakout with some of the fanbase. The Broncos will be fine. But if Denver starts slow in its opener at Seattle, new coach Nathaniel Hackett will be answering a lot of questions about his preseason strategy.

PFT -- Rank: 19

The bar is higher than it should be for a team that has undergone many changes over the past two years. Especially since they have to compete with the Chiefs, Raiders, and Chargers.

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