2012 NFL power rankings: Denver Broncos move up to No. 3

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos are the third best team in the NFL according to the latest SB Nation NFL power rankings.

The Denver Broncos are steamrolling to the playoffs and are coming off their eighth straight win, a 23-13 victory last Thursday night over the Oakland Raiders. The talk has turned from the beginning of the season about just how good the Broncos would be in their first year with Peyton Manning under center, to how the Broncos stack up with the best teams in the NFL.

If you ask SB Nation NFL editor Joel Thorman, they're right with the elite. Thorman ranks the Broncos No. 3 in his latest NFL power rankings, up one spot from last week.

Denver has a tough test this weekend when they play the Baltimore Ravens, and Thorman thinks this could be a sign of just how good the Broncos are:

3. Denver Broncos (LW: 4, 10-3): Very interested in seeing this Broncos-Ravens game. Denver has already lost to a couple of teams they could see in the playoffs in Houston and New England. Baltimore will be a good barometer for where they stand.

The Broncos trail only the New England Patriots and Houston Texans in the rankings, and the same can be said for the power rankings provided by CBS Sports NFL writer Pete Prisco. ESPN.com, meanwhile, puts Manning and the Broncos right behind Tom Brady and the Pats at No. 2.

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