12: Denver Broncos Are The Most Polarizing Team In These AFC Power Rankings
I could realistically see the Broncos finishing as a playoff team in 2023 just as easily as I could see them finishing dead last in the conference. Head coach Sean Payton is a clear upgrade for Denver, as the future Hall of Famer has a track record of success with smaller quarterbacks. This is music to Russell Wilson’s ears.
Even assuming Payton and Wilson figure things out, a path to double-digit victories is tough to find for the Broncos. The offensive line is a serious concern, although signing right tackle Mike McGlinchey is a great start toward fixing it. If Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy stick around, and Javonte Williams fully recovers, the weaponry is there to score points.
On defense, cornerback Patrick Surtain is the best at the position in the league. Justin Simmons, Randy Gregory, and Baron Browning are all difference-makers when healthy and locked in. Unfortunately, that is where most of the concern lies with Denver.
The roster is not devoid of talent, but the injury bug frequently shows up in Mile High. It is worth considering that Wilson’s down year in 2022 was more than a blip on the radar. He has to learn a new offense this offseason and that’s not always an easy thing to do for a veteran signal-caller. These question marks are enough to keep the Broncos low on the AFC Power Rankings — for now.
11: Indianapolis Colts Live And Die With Anthony Richardson
The Colts finished with the fourth-worst record in the NFL in 2022, but there is plenty of optimism surrounding the team heading into the upcoming season. The biggest reasons for excitement around Indianapolis come with the additions of head coach Shane Steichen and quarterback Anthony Richardson.
Last season was plagued by shaky quarterback play, injury, inconsistent effort, and lackluster coaching down the stretch. Franchise stalwarts like Jonathan Taylor and Darius Leonard were forced out of action frequently, leaving the rest of the roster to pick up the slack.
Richardson is a potential superstar behind center, but Year 1 could present some growing pains as the new coaching staff implements its system. Health is the deciding factor in terms of where the Colts will finish in the standings. No. 11 feels about right, given how stacked the AFC is.