Peter King of NBC Sports released his NFL power rankings for the 2022 season. The entire AFC West is in the top-15. The Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs rank second and third, respectively, and the Las Vegas Raiders are further down at No. 13.
Each AFC West rival ranks higher in King’s estimation than the 14th-ranked Denver Broncos. The disrespect continues in the Mile High City.
The Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs rank second and third, respectively, while the Las Vegas Raiders are further down at No. 13 – all above the Denver Broncos, who check in at No. 14.
The disrespect continues in the Mile High City.
Before the Russell Wilson acquisition, many news outlets and analysts said Denver was but a quarterback away from making a deep playoff run. Even with Wilson in the building, though, King doesn’t see this squad finishing above their rivals.
When the Broncos look back at the Russell trade, they should be grateful not only for getting the durable Wilson (Seattle games in last 10 years: 176; Wilson starts in last 10 years: 174) but also for not giving up left tackle Garett Bolles or one of three plumb receivers. Tight end Noah Fant and defensive end Shelby Harris are nice pieces but were worth Wilson, along of course with denuding two drafts. You pay what you have to pay for a quarterback. Now, can Wilson hit the ground running? Let’s look at new Denver head coach Nathaniel Hackett’s hands-on history (along with Matt LaFleur) in Green Bay. In 2019, LaFleur / Hackett’s first year in Green Bay, Rodgers took 2.92 seconds from snap to throw (a lot) and averaged 7.2 yards per attempt. By 2020, Rodgers’ first two straight MVP years, the time to throw was down to 2.68 seconds and his yards-per-attempt was up to 8.1, both very good. Wilson has to learn the Hackett way fast to hit the ground running in an impossible division.
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Nothing overly negative or positive from King’s assessment which makes his ranking of the Broncos perplexing.
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In McDaniel’s second run at being a head coach, stability is job one. Job two? Making the playoffs out of the toughest division, by far, in the NFL.
The Raiders are the definition of instability, whether it be a head coach or front-office executive. Despite the ownership vacuum, Denver has always been a more stable organization that fosters positivity and growth.
How will the Chiefs look without Tyreek Hill’s presence on the field or Tyrann Mathieu’s leadership on a defense lacking secondary talent? Having Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid will keep Kansas City in the Super Bowl contention but ranking them third in the league is a stretch.
The Chargers have undoubtedly improved their roster but are still unproven as a unit with a young, albeit talented, quarterback. Brandon Staley’s overaggressiveness last season spent to be his downfall, and he is still trying to prove he belongs as a head coach.
Let’s be honest; ranking LA second overall is bewildering.
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