Are the Denver Broncos the worst team in the NFL right now? This isn't meant to be a vitriolic question, but rather a legitimate line of inquiry. And this isn't a screed against head coach Josh McDaniels, because, as John Bena tweets, we can't blame only one person for what the Broncos have turned into. But let's look at where the Broncos stand: 2-6, good for last in the AFC West. The San Diego Chargers could be tied with the Broncos later tonight if they lose to the Tennessee Titans (whom the Broncos beat in a fourth-quarter comeback).
It's all well and good that Kyle Orton and Brandon Lloyd ignited their spark again, hooking up for seven receptions, 169 yards and a touchdown. However, Kyle Orton also had key mistakes, including a fumble that the Niners turned into a touchdown and then he had a miscommunication with Jabar Gaffney that resulted in the interception that ended the game. But don't mistake this for a call to start Tim Tebow--not yet anyway. If Orton keeps making those same mistakes, McDaniels will want to go to his prized first-round selection.
The blocked extra point attempt, the block-to-the-back penalty that nullified Eddie Royal's punt return touchdown: these are all signs of a team that failed to properly prepare themselves for this game. Throw in those same mistakes from last week against the Raiders and the week before that against the Jets and we can see there is something fundamentally wrong with this team. That's not even including the lack of a rushing game. Knowshon Moreno is still stuck on 40 yards a game, it seems.
The San Francisco 49ers are 2-6 with the win over the Broncos, so it's hard to say they are worse than the Broncos. The Buffalo Bills? While still winless in seven games, they held the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs to 13 points in an overtime loss. The Broncos would find a way to lose to the Buffalo Bills. Luckily the Broncos don't play the Bills this season.
Think what you will of power rankings, but the Broncos will certainly be at the bottom of many.