While we wait for the latest SB Nation Power Rankings, sister site SB Nation Atlanta does its own weekly NFL Power Rankings, the Unbiased Power Rankings. Here's how Troy Heinzman explains the construction of the rankings:
We take into account a team's wins, losses and a strength of schedule component to arrive at a truly unbiased rating. We have no preseason polls, no preset baselines. Only the performance on the field - this season - matters. [...]
Each team is awarded five points for a win and five points for every game a defeated opponent wins. To measure a loss, the total number of opponent wins is divided by the number of the ranked team's losses.
So, how do the Broncos measure up in these rankings? Better than fans might expect for a 3-7 team. The Broncos check in at No. 24 with a 100.7 rating. That's good for a QB rating, but the top-ranked New England Patriots have a 230.5 rating. Still, the Broncos are in the fourth of five tiers, which means they are better than a team that just fired its head coach (Minnesota Vikings, 62.0) and the 1-9 Carolina Panthers (26.0), among others.
The Broncos' next opponent, the St. Louis Rams, are one spot above at No. 23 with a 104.7 rating. Among AFC West teams, the Broncos are the lowest-ranked, but the Chiefs, Raiders and Chargers are all ranked in the third tier. All things considered there's always a way to make a season look better or worse than it really is.