Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Denver Broncos Week 4 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Denver Broncos rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 28.8 (T-29th)
  • Best ranking: 28th (Multiple)
  • Worst ranking: 30th (USA Today)

Below you will find a Week 4 roundup for the Broncos in our consensus 2020 NFL Power Rankings.

The Athletic -- Rank: 29

What we learned: They can't handle the blitz (yes, you can say that in the Jack Nicholson voice). Jeff Driskel was blitzed 20 times against the Buccaneers. Five of those plays resulted in sacks, and he averaged just 1.55 net yards per play when Tampa sent extra pressure. That's the worst mark for any quarterback against the blitz in a single game so far this season. In perhaps the saddest quarterback storyline of the season, the Broncos are reportedly going with Brett Rypien over Driskel on Thursday night because Blake Bortles isn't ready to play yet. I'm so sorry, Denver.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 28

They've had way too many injuries to compete with good teams. It's all about next season now for the Broncos, although they do have a winnable game against the Jets Thursday night.

USA Today -- Rank: 30

You'd think another 0-3 start under Vic Fangio might be an unrecoverable tailspin. But visiting Jets is a good way to start leveling out.

ESPN -- Rank: 28

What we got wrong: After churning through one battered quarterback after another over the past three seasons, the Broncos had finally learned their lesson about protecting their quarterbacks.

Three games does not a season make, but the Broncos are tied for second in the league in sacks allowed -- with 13 -- and have used three quarterbacks already (Drew Lock, Jeff Driskel and Brett Rypien), which could easily go to four if Blake Bortles plays. The Broncos invested a $44 million contract in guard Graham Glasgow and selected center Lloyd Cushenberry III in the draft. Left tackle Garett Bolles seemed ready to leave his growing list of penalties behind and second-year guard Dalton Risner was becoming the alpha in the line. Then right tackle Ja'Wuan James opted out with COVID-19 concerns and not much has gone as planned since. -- Jeff Legwold -- Rank: 29

Despite a host of upgrade options, John Elway made the decision to roll with Jeff Driskel as his backup quarterback entering 2020. That choice will likely continue to cost him. The Broncos -- with Driskel starting in place of an injured Drew Lock -- weren't competitive on offense against the Buccaneers, finishing with season lows in points (10), total yards (226), passing yards (184) and rushing yards (42) in a 28-10 loss. Driskel is now 1-8 in his career as a starter, and the Broncos continue to struggle out of the gate in the Vic Fangio era, falling to 0-7 in September over the past two seasons. The loss of Jurrell Casey to a season-ending biceps tear dims Denver's prospects that much more.

Previous update: Denver Broncos Week 3 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

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