Senior NFL Columnist

Power Rankings: Move over, Ravens, it's Broncos time now


Now that free agency is winding down, and teams are readying for the draft, it's time for another batch of Power Rankings.

Unlike like the last set, this set is done with more of a look ahead to 2013, rather than having the influence of 2012.

So if you're looking for the Baltimore Ravens atop the rankings, look again. It's not that I, like most, believe they have suffered a ton of hits in free agency that will be their big problem. It's just that I thought they overachieved last season and got hot at the right time -- and quite frankly they were a good team, not a great one.

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The Ravens will be in the playoff mix again -- thanks to Joe Flacco -- but they will not head into the 2013 season as the top team here.

That's the Denver Broncos.

The Broncos were one bad play by safety Rahim Moore away from beating the Ravens and getting to the AFC Championship Game, which would have been at home. I still think if they win that game, they win it all.

Since then, the Broncos have had a terrific offseason. John Elway has made a lot of right moves, the fax fiasco that cost them Elvis Dumervil not one of them.

The offensive line needed an upgrade inside, so he signed guard Louis Vasquez from the Chargers. The secondary needed help at corner, so he brought in corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on a show-me deal. They needed help inside on defense, so he signed former Jaguars defensive tackle Terrence Knighton, who is talented but somehow got in the doghouse last season.

And then he capped it off by signing Wes Welker to a deal to help the inside passing game, an area Peyton Manning loves to exploit. They will add a veteran pass rusher soon to take over for Dumervil.

Denver was the top seed in the AFC last year, and now they are better. The Broncos are currently the best team in the league.

The 49ers and Seahawks will balk at that, but let's not forget they have two quarterbacks who have to prove they can do it again. We know Manning can.

So, for now, it's the Broncos at the top.


Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and is the self-anointed star of CBS Sports' show, Eye on Football. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.

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