NFL Power Rankings: Cardinals rise, Broncos fall in Week 15

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Dec 13, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack (52) prepares to sack Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) during the second half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Raiders won 15-12. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports


Last week: 2
Change: -4

The Denver Broncos defense is dominant week in week out, and while that’s the case, they will win football games. But sometimes, they will need some help. Having to hold a team under 12 points to win is not a recipe to win often in the NFL, and the Oakland Raiders took full advantage.

Brock Osweiler and the Broncos offense couldn’t get anything done, and Khalil Mack was a big reason for this. Mack was responsible for all five sacks Osweiler took. He did throw for 308 yards on 51 dropbacks, but it was all in vein as the Broncos scored just 12 points, all from the foot of kicker Brandon McManus.

This game proves the importance of turnovers. Denver dominated just about every statistic. The Broncos had 310 total yards to the Raiders’ 126. They ran 22 more plays than Oakland and had 20 first downs to the Raiders’ eight. But the two crucial statistics? The Broncos turned it over twice; the Raiders not once. The other is Derek Carr found the end zone twice while the Broncos didn’t punch it in once.

For Denver to have any hope of a Super Bowl push, the offense will need to find some consistency. This defense is loaded and capable of winning a championship.

Next: No. 5