When does football season start already?

It seems like every year fans grow restless with the absence of football. When the Stanley Cup and NBA finals conclude, baseball just doesn’t get it done throughout the summer.

That’s why ESPN asked a couple of their NFL experts to put together a power rankings for each of the 32 NFL teams over the span of the next three years.

The Denver Broncos were ranked ninth behind teams like the Seattle Seahawks, who took the top spot, and the New England Patriots who were voted second.

Other teams in front of the Broncos include the Carolina Panthers, the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings.

ESPN based their ranking by rating each team on a scale from 0-100 in five different categories. Each category was weighted with the team’s roster accounting for 30 percent, the quarterback accounting for 20 percent, the draft and front office accounting for 15 percent and coaching being 20 percent.

The Broncos scored a 76.4 overall — 78.3 in the roster category, 52.7 in the QB rating, 81.7 for coaching, 83.3 for the draft and 90.0 in the front office.

To put it in perspective, and to compare the Broncos’ ratings with the team they just beat in the Super Bowl, the Panthers were rated 84.7 overall — 83.3 in the roster category, 88.3 in the QB ratings (helps to have the reigning NFL MVP), 85.5 in the coaching category, 81.3 in the draft category and 85.0 in the front office.

So, ESPN’s panel of experts gave the Panthers a better roster, a better QB (obviously), a better coach by more than four percent, a worse draft by .4 percent, and a 5 percent worse in the front office.

All of those ratings make sense, besides coaching, especially in the front office where you have one of the best GM’s in the league, if not the best, in John Elway. In fact, the Broncos front office was tied with the Seahawks and behind only the Patriots, who scored a 91.0, in front office ratings.

And the coach? Gary Kubiak just defeated Ron Rivera in potentially the biggest game their careers, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves, ESPN.

But what about the team’s roster?

If the Broncos re-sign Von Miller, the only unproven piece missing from the team is at quarterback. With Brock Osweiler at the helm, the Broncos could possibly have been ranked even higher in terms of their original roster rating.

According to their “expert panelists,” the Broncos “high point” begins and ends in the front office. If it wasn’t for Elway, this team might have not have been able to keep most of their impact players on both sides of the ball, which is 100 percent true.

You can guess the low point.

It all has to do with the uncertainty at the quarterback position. Losing their No. 1 and 2 quarterbacks, a year removed from a Super Bowl title, is almost unheard of. In the eyes of ESPN’s Louis Riddick and plenty of other experts, Osweiler was the better long-term option.

He proved himself going 5-2 when he started in seven games, and the Broncos never thought Sanchez or Siemian would be battling it out against a rookie, Lynch, for the top spot.


A team that was interestingly ahead of the Broncos were the Minnesota Vikings. ESPN gave the Vikings a better rating in every category besides the draft and front office categories. They were tied at the coaching position.

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has a bright future ahead of him, but does he have what it takes to push his team over the hump and into the Super Bowl? Again, only time will tell.

These rankings reflect how ESPN feels about the near future for every NFL team. Most of these rankings could turn out to be completely wrong or somewhat right. If there’s any doubt that the Broncos can’t repeat as champions in the next three years, look no further than at rookie quarterback Paxton Lynch for some hope.