The Denver Broncos fell to the Arizona Cardinals, 43-13, on Sunday, and will most likely be considered one of the worst teams in the league when the weekly power rankings come out tomorrow. At 3-10, the Denver Broncos are having one of the franchise's worst seasons.
In the fall of 1999, the Denver Broncos were without quarterback John Elway, who retired after winning his second Super Bowl, and running back Terrell Davis, who rushed for 2,008 yards the previous season, suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during the fourth game of the season. As a result, the Broncos finished with a 6-10 record. In 2010, the franchise has already reached 10 losses, and three games remain. The last time the Broncos had more than 10 losses was in 1990 with 11. One would need to look all the way back to the 1960s to see that kind of futility on a year-in, year-out basis.
So where will the Broncos wind up in this week's power rankings? First, let's take a look back at SB Nation's Power Rankings to figure this out. The Denver Broncos moved down one spot to No. 28 after a loss to the Chiefs. The teams below them, in order, were: the Detroit Lions, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Carolina Panthers and the Arizona Cardinals.
The Lions (3-10) eked out a victory over the Green Bay Packers, 7-3, after Green Bay's quarterback Aaron Rodgers left the game with a concussion. The Bengals (2-11) are on a 10-game losing streak after a 23-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Panthers (1-12) dropped another game, this one 31-10 to the Atlanta Falcons. The Cardinals (4-9) defeated the Broncos.
If winning is any indication that a team will move up in the rankings, the Lions and the Cardinals should move past the Broncos. After that, maybe it should be a three-way tie for last in the power rankings between the Bengals, the Broncos and the Panthers. None of the teams look ready to win.
The Falcons (11-2) and the New England Patriots (11-2) are on seven- and five-game winning streaks and should be the top two teams in the rankings. The Patriots have been on fire lately, defeating the New York Jets, 45-3, on Monday night and then downing the Chicago Bears, 36-7, on Sunday.
In the AFC West, the San Diego Chargers bounced back from their loss to the Oakland Raiders last week and defeated the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs, 31-0. They were No. 11 and No. 16, respectively, and may see a flip in who is ranked above the other. The Oakland Raiders fell to 6-7 after losing 38-31 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. They will lose their No. 14 ranking.