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2021 NFL Power Rankings: Denver Broncos

Throughout the 2021 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:

Below you will find a Week 8 roundup for the Broncos in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 21

Prediction we missed: The Broncos' defense would dominate.

The phrase "on paper'' is apt for the Broncos' defense this season, but the preseason plans of a consistently impactful pass rush backed by one of the league's best secondaries has not been seen nearly enough to bail the offense out. Yes, they do have one of the league's three shutouts this year -- Buffalo has the other two -- and they are third in scoring defense. But overall, sacks, takeaways and interceptions have been much harder to come by than expected. And injuries have gutted the depth chart at linebacker (seven players at the position are on injured reserve), so the Broncos' defense has been one of the league's worst on third down (27th). -- Jeff Legwold

NFL.com -- Rank: 21

To quote the late, great Thomas Earl Petty, the Broncos are free fallin', out into nothin'. The 3-0 start has given way to four consecutive losses and the general sense that Denver is a middling team no closer to serious contention than it was a year ago with Drew Lock behind center. Teddy Bridgewater isn't the sole reason for the Broncos' month-long slump, but he's proving once again that he's simply not a dynamic presence under center. If all the Broncos needed was a game manager, Teddy Two Gloves would be a perfect fit. But with Denver's talented defense not living up to expectations, Vic Fangio needs a difference-maker at QB. Teddy ain't it.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 24

The injuries are really impacting the defense now, and that showed up in the loss to Cleveland. They are undermanned in the front seven and the offense isn't good enough.

USA Today -- Rank: 20

Inexplicable that this team ran 14 times in Week 7 loss at Cleveland. If any offense should be 4.5 yards and a cloud of dust, it might be this one.

The Athletic -- Rank: 21

Trick or treat: From preseason expectations of a defense that should rival the Orange Crush to getting crushed by the Browns' third-string running back, Denver's defense is in a very bad place. The offense isn't much better, but Broncos fans can only handle one nightmare at a time.

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