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NFL Power Rankings: Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos Shooting Up Rankings Every Week

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 4:  Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos looks to pass the ball against the Minnesota Vikings at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on December 4, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Adam Bettcher /Getty Images)
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images
Christopher SmithCorrespondent IIIDecember 7, 2011

On Tuesday, ESPN released it's weekly NFL Power Rankings.

The Denver Broncos—who at one point this season were ranked as low as 26th—have skyrocketed up to 10th on the list after a win in Minnesota on Sunday.

Seven weeks ago, this spot on the list would have seemed absolutely impossible.

If anyone had told me this Denver team would rank above teams like the Lions, the Bears and the Eagles, I would have dismissed it as fantasy.

But, here we are.

What's fascinating about the rankings is that Denver actually sits above every team they've beaten in 2011.

Just three weeks ago this team was still ranked 19th, and actually ranked lower than the Bengals and Raiders—two teams they had previously beaten.

The tables have turned significantly and it seems that even the self-proclaimed experts—whether they love or loath the Tim Tebow experiment—are sending a healthy dose of respect at the Broncos.

What's also intriguing is the team that sits just four spots ahead of the Broncos.

The very same team that visits Sports Authority Field at Mile High in two weeks.

The New England Patriots.

It's assumed that Denver can knock off the anemic Chicago Bears at home next week—Forte and Cutler gone means a very difficult road for Chicago.

But what happens in Week 15 when Tom Brady, his troop of terrific pass-catchers and the Patriots 32nd-ranked defense comes to Denver?

If the Broncos could knock off New England at home, could they move even higher up the list?

Honestly, a win that isn't commanding against the Bears could drop the Broncos out of their position at 10th. But a win against New England—based on the respect that's been thrown their way already—should move them into sixth or above on the list.

The team would be 9-5 at that point with only games against Buffalo and Kansas City left on the schedule.

The more important list for Denver is of course the one that determines their spot in the AFC Playoff picture.

But it is fun to see just how "powerful" the sports world believes Denver to be.

If Denver wins out the season—and manages to win at least one game by more than two or three points—they could end up in the top five of these NFL Power Rankings by the end of the year.

 

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