The Denver Broncos are flying high, and not just in confidence terms. Vic Fangio’s 2-0 squad sits atop the AFC West after a fortnight of football.
Road wins against the New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars have put Denver back at the top. The top of where you may ask. Well, incredibly the Broncos lead the AFC – alongside bitter rivals Las Vegas. The Raiders and Broncos are the two remaining undefeated teams in the conference, in what is sure to shock many around the league.
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Broncos Almost Contenders, Says Analyst
The Broncos look rejuvenated under quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s leadership and a suffocating defense headed by Von Miller. It must be stated, Denver’s opponents thus far had a combined 7-25 across the 2020 NFL season. Though you can only beat what’s in front of you and the three-time world champions certainly have delivered in that respect.
Media across the country are starting to recognize the rise of the Broncos, with one, in particular, ranking them highly. Fox Sports’ talk show star Colin Cowherd has Denver pegged as the fourth-best team in the AFC and eighth overall. That being said, he believes they’re not far from Lombardi Trophy contention.
“Now this is where Colin gets into overreaction territory,” Cowherd said on September 21, referring to himself in the third person on The Herd. “I like the Broncos and I liked them last week. They’ve outgunned their opponents by more yards than anybody in the NFL except a singular team. Now, last year they had 32 giveaways, but with Bridgewater, they don’t give the ball away.”
Cowherd hasn’t always been the Broncos’ biggest supporter, particularly when Drew Lock held the starting quarterback position. Despite Bridgewater displacing the Missouri product, Cowherd still didn’t have Denver in his playoff bracket as the season began. Now that’s all changed.
“We said this all offseason, this is a playoff roster, this is an excellent roster,” Cowherd said.
“I don’t think I’m overreacting. I picked them to be 8-9 because we just didn’t know, this schedule was tough, the division’s tough, but this to me is a team that is close. I’m not sure if they’re yet to get into a Super Bowl bubble from what I’ve seen so far.”
Cowherd didn’t quite have the belief to shift the Broncos to the top of his AFC West projections but he didn’t put the undefeated Raiders, nor the promising Chargers in his top-10 NFL teams. Cowherd clearly has some belief, ranking Denver ahead of the Buffalo Bills, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers and favorite son Sam Darnold’s Carolina Panthers.
Here’s a full list of Cowherd’s top-10, or the Herd Hierarchy as it’s known:
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Los Angeles Rams
- Baltimore Ravens
- Kansas City Chiefs
- San Francisco 49ers
- Arizona Cardinals
- Cleveland Browns
- Denver Broncos
- Buffalo Bills
- Seattle Seahawks
Cowherd further commended Denver’s starting quarterback on his start to life in the orange, blue and white. Bridgewater has thrown four touchdowns and crucially zero interceptions during his two-game stretch with the Broncos. What’s more, he has the second-best quarterback rating, 83.3 (out of 100) in the National Football League.
“Bridgewater, second in the entire league in completion percentage, no turnovers, never misses a layup,” Cowherd said on September 20. “Denver’s got really nice weapons, tight end, O-line’s ok, perimeter weapons, [running] backs. This is a top-10 roster in the league now that they have a grown-up [at quarterback] running it.”
Follow Patrick Djordjevic on Twitter: @Patdjordjevic