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NFL Power Rankings, Preseason Edition: Where The Denver Broncos Are Slightly Better Than Before

NFL Power Rankings in August? Probably some of the most meaningless of meaningless things to come out during the month before the regular season. But preseason games start this week and everybody loves rankings.

ESPN just came out with their first set of rankings on Tuesday and the Denver Broncos are just about where one would expect them to be after a 4-12 season: toward the bottom. They actually improved by two spots, moving from No. 29 to No. 27 after the long offseason. But as should be expected, the blurb about the team is quite pessimistic:

I fear the first year of the John Fox regime will be a long, ugly one filled with Tim Tebow-related controversy. ([written by] Kuharsky)

Maybe Paul Kuharsky is right. This could be a long season with a "Tim Tebow-related controversy," but if that is the only issue this team faces (and let's be honest, there's no way it can be the only one) that means the defense is much improved. More than anything else, the Broncos suffered from poor defense, perhaps the worst in team history.

The Kyle Orton -Tim Tebow controversy is really a red herring at this point.

As for the other AFC West teams, the Raiders come in at No. 23, a drop of eight spots. That ranking will move up should Jason Campbell play consistently. The Chiefs are found at No. 14, but can they stay that high? The Chargers are in the top 10 at No. 10. Can they break on through to the top?