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Published on 01/05/2012 at Thu Jan 05 14:33.
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Denver Broncos

The regular season is over — if there were no playoffs, here’s how the Denver Broncos would rank per the experts.

ESPN: 14th (13) Tim Tebow’s limitations and the strengths of the defense he will be facing in the first round could make for an awful day.

CBS: 12th (13) Still think Tim Tebow is the long-term answer? Didn’t think so. Denver has to find a quarterback — playoffs or not.

Sports Illustrated: 12th (12)
The Broncos started 1-4 and finished 0-3, but that 7-1 run in between sure was fun. Having the home-field advantage against the 12-4 Steelers (when will the NFL fix that inequity?) will help the Broncos and their quality defense keep the game close for a while, but Denver quarterback Tim Tebow has to produce some points in the passing game early or this one could get very, very ugly. And I mean John Elway might not even be able to watch from his club suite.

Sporting News: 15th (12)
Leading receiver: WR Eric Decker. He had only 44 catches and 612 yards, and it’s doubtful he and Demaryius Thomas can do much else with Tim Tebow.

Walter Football: 16th (12)

(Ed. Note: Some different networks this week as the usual suspects didn’t all update rankings. Damn computers, Brian Billick.)

The 2011 regular season is over. Where would you rank the Broncos?

View Results

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  • Anonymous

    Trying figure out where I’d rank the Broncos, do I went team by team to see who I think, right now are better than the Broncos in no specific order.


    21st ish

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    I want some of what you’re smoking!!

  • Anonymous

    I want some of what you’re smoking!!

  • Mike Birtwistle

    Anything lower than 12th is disrespectful.  They made the play offs and are therefore one of the top 12 teams in the league.  Want to rank the Chicago, Cowboys, Eagles, Jets etc higher?  Then they should’ve made the play offs.

    No problem if you want to argue that they’re the worst play off team (they’re not – Det, Cincy, SF are all worse) but to rank these Broncos lower than 12th is not on.

  • Meh

    I want some of what you’re smoking!!

  • Anonymous

    Sometimes the intangibles are so great, that they become an actual tangible entity.

    The Broncos have something about them… It can be an awesome offense and disgraceful defense, or an amazing defense and an abysmal offense. They haven’t really seemed to “pull it all together at the same time.” Well, this is the week to do it.
    If our Offense shows up like we’ve all seen, and our Defense shows up like we’ve all seen, and our Special Teams stays consistent, we can honestly beat anyone in the AFC and give the Packers and Saints a run for their money.

    The problem with this team is that you just don’t know what you’re gonna get from week to week. Is this one of the weeks that Tebow leads the offense to 20+ points? Or is this the week that he seems to play “not to make a mistake” and loses the Eye of the Tiger? Is this the week that our Defense keeps offenses to 10 or fewer points? Or is this the week that they give up 30+? Is this the week that our Special Teams give up punt and kickoff returns for TDs and great field position? Or is this the week that we keep pinning teams back and we are the ones making the plays? This is the reason why we are so hard to rank! We seem to be incapable of playing CONSISTENT football.

    I’m gonna rank us right around 7 or 8 because A) we are in the playoffs, which regardless of stats, we had the metal in us to make it when others didn’t or couldn’t, or crumbled worse than us, and B) because I think that any given week, we can seriously be a top 3 team in the NFL, and that’s something that only 7 or 8 teams in the league can claim to be. 

    My Rankings are:
    #1 New Orleans – Logic says Green Bay, but the Saints are playing so white hot right now that I think they could beat Green Bay. I also like their D a bit better. Not much better, but a bit better.

    #2/1b Green Bay – They have for the most part been the most consistent team in the league this year. Rogers is sick, and boy oh boy can they hang points on people. They didn’t even miss a beat when Rogers sat out the last game. The only reason why I have them #2/1b is because I think that Breese is playing just a hair better than Rogers, and I think that the Saint’s D is capable of 1 more stop, or at least 1 more “stall till time runs out” than the Packers are capable of.

    #3 Baltimore Ravens – Yes my friends, the Ravens scare the crap out of me. They are built for the playoffs because of their Defense and their Running Attack (sound familiar?). Their Defense is capable of shutting down and embarrassing anybody in the league, and their running game can dish out an equal amount of embarrassment to opposing defenses. Flacco is the weak link in their team, and is the reason why they weren’t the #1 seed in the AFC.

    #4 New England – Boy oh boy can they hang points on you in a short amount of time. They remind me of the Colts from a few years ago. Remember the Colts vs Miami game where Miami had the ball for 46 minutes because they wanted to keep the ball out of Manning’s hands, yet the Colts still scored enough to win because they’d have 3-4 play 80 yard drives in like 1 minute…. consistently? This is what this Patriots team looks like to me. Take the Buffalo game as the most recent example. They were down 21-0, then “turned it on” and ripped off 41 points in a row for the final score of 41-21. Talk about scoring in bunches. Their downfall? That defense. Boy is that Defense bad, and as the weather turns, you usually need to have a better defense and ball control offense over an explosive offense and non-existent defense…. Usually. There are always exceptions to every rule.

    #5 Pittsburgh – That Defense is almost unbeatable. That offense is banged up, yet their “intangibles” are so great, that they become actual tangible entities (like I said about Denver). Would it surprise anybody if they were in the Super Bowl? We’ve seen less talented Steelers teams win the Super Bowl. Yes, this team is beat to hell, but still, they have “it”, and having “it” happens when the sum of the pieces is greater than the total of all the individual pieces.

    #6 San Francisco – I think if any city has less faith in their QB than Denver (I have faith in Tebow btw), it’s San Francisco. I mean, does anyone really trust Alex Smith? This is the only wildcard on their entire team. Their Defense is all world, and they have the pieces on offense to go all the way. The underlying question mark is Alex Smith. He’s had a miserable career, yet has played great this year. Was this year a fluke? Will he revert from Alex Smith, to Alex Smith? We are about to find out, and I guarantee you that every 49er fan is more nervous about them in the playoffs than Denver fans are of us in the playoffs.

    #7 Denver – I talked about them earlier, so I’ll save it in here. Let’s just say that if we can put a complete, or semi-complete game together, we can win this game. If we can diversify our offense, we can win this game. If we can run a truly balanced attack (what I mean by that is that at any given moment in the game, you won’t see an incredibly in-balanced run/pass total. It will remain fairly even, maybe 60/40 run heavy throughout the game. This will keep Tebow and the WRs in rhythm so that they don’t look so out of sync and aren’t asked to pass every down when the defense knows they will pass every down.) we can win this game. We need to pressure Rapisburger without having to rely on the blitz. If we can do that, we can win this game.

    #8 New York – Wildly inconsistent team, maybe more-so than Denver, which is why I have Denver ahead of them for now, but they are almost interchangeable.

  • Anonymous

    Like the playoff platform or not (division winner hosts game regardless of record), we are in the playoffs and thus a top 12 team.
    Think we “backed in?” We did, but we put ourselves in a position to “back in”, which 20 other teams failed to accomplish. For that, we are a top 12 team.
    Half the teams that Dante listed as better than us are teams we have beaten! If they were better than us, then how in the world did we beat them? Fluke plays like Barber running out of bounds? Well, take away the fluke play of Chicago recovering a fumble in the End Zone for a TD, and Barber running out of bounds means nothing because we would be in the lead. See how that works? Fluke plays happen for both teams and against both teams, so you can’t rank Chicago higher than us by using the “if Barber didn’t….” as an excuse.

    We are Top 12 at a minimum. Below I ranked us and have us #7, and I could certainly argue that we are #6 (San Fran).

    We are in the Playoffs!!!! Everyone needs to start getting excited and pumped around here. We are in the playoffs for the 1st time in 6 years!!! Cutler failed to get us here. Orton failed to get us here. Tebow got us here. Like him or hate him, he accomplished something that we haven’t seen in a long, long time.

    There is plenty of time to discuss what this team needs and what personnel decisions should be made in the OFFSEASON!!! This is the Playoffs, not the off-season!!! How about we start acting like we’re in the playoffs instead of a 4-12 team and watching from home! The offseason can wait for the offseason. The time for this team is NOW. Future Broncos can wait for the future. The Current Broncos are in the playoffs and fighting for a chance to be Champions. Be proud of that. Get excited and cheer for our team!

    GO BRONCOS!!!!!

  • Monty

    The Broncos are in the playoffs by default – simply because someone from the AFC West had to represent. That doesn’t mean they’re necessarily in the Top 12. I’d rank them around 16.

  • Anonymous

    The Giants would destroy us, Tebow would have no chance against that pass rush.

  • Vickie Fleming

    Gotta go with my Broncos!!!!  They are right there to win on Sunday
    and once again Tebow will have his lovers and haters.   I can hear em now.  “Aww it was a fluke.  The Steelers got robbed.  Tebow is no good.   We should get Cutler back or get some new guy”.   Well, wherever Tebow goes,  he will be inspirational and bring the Fans out in huge numbers.   He has done more than any other QB since Elway, to really bring excitment to Denver.