A weekly examination of the Broncos' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 3 | Last Week: 1 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
A biting wind out of the north was strong enough Sunday night to induce plenty of turnovers in the New England Patriots' overtime win over the Broncos, but also strong enough to push the Broncos down two spots to No. 3 in ESPN.com’s Power Rankings.
That and 334 passing yards and three touchdowns from Tom Brady.
And this week, the Broncos (9-2) will face the Chiefs for the second time in three weeks, after winning a 27-17 meeting in Denver in Week 11.
“Each week there’s a new story. I mean, two weeks ago, it was Kansas City, ‘Oh, my God, if we don’t win this ...’ It’s not that,’’ Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio said. “It wasn’t that then. It was a big game, big divisional game. [Sunday] was a big conference game, an opportunity. Now, those two games -- they’re gone. And the ones before are gone. We’re sitting here, we’re tied for first. We’re 9-2. We’ve won a lot of games. We’ve got some ball in front of us and we’re getting excited for the very next one. That’s where we are.’’
The Broncos expect to get some help defensively this week. Cornerback Champ Bailey, who has played in just two games this season because of a left foot injury he suffered in August, is slated to practice through the week and play against the Chiefs.
The Broncos still have the opportunity to earn home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs if they can bounce back quickly from Sunday’s loss. They are 5-2 in AFC games, just behind the Chiefs’ 6-2 mark. New England (8-3) is 5-2 in AFC games as well. The Broncos have three AFC West games remaining, and all five of their remaining games are against AFC teams.
“We still have a lot of work to do and everything is out there for us if we do our part,’’ cornerback Chris Harris said.