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Are the Denver Broncos actually good?

The Broncos sport a 4-2 record since an 0-3 start

The Denver Broncos the Minnesota Vikings will play on Sunday night aren’t the same Broncos that have up 70 points to the Dolphins six weeks ago, but are they actually good?

Denver beat the Bills 22-21 Monday for a third straight win to get to 4-5 overall. They’ve also beaten the Chiefs and Packers, so are they a team capable of bringing down the red-hot Vikings? Let’s break down Denver… 

Overall, head coach Sean Payton’s impact is tough to measure, but Denver owns an offense that ranks 19th in points (32nd in 2022) and 26th in yards (21st in 2022). Brought in as an offensive guru, Payton has yet to return Russell Wilson to days of yesteryear as the Broncos’ pass offense is much worse off this season, dropping from 19th last year to 29th so far this season. More concerning for Broncos fans is the precipitous decline defensively. Denver's defense ranked 14th in points allowed and 25th in yards allowed in 2022, but that's dropped to 28th in points allowed and 30th in yards allowed this season. Now a big caveat to those defensive issues was allowing 70 points and over 700 yards to Miami in Week 3.

Since that 70-20 drubbing the Broncos are tied with the fourth best record in the league, a solid 4-2 since Oct. 1. 

Taking out the first three weeks of the season, Denver is 20th in total offense but 31st in points scored, meaning they've improved in gaining yards but have turned into pumpkins when attempting to score points. The Broncos have shown improvement on the other side of the ball with a defense that ranks 13th in points allowed and 22nd in yards since Week 4.

What does this all mean for the team the Vikings are set to play on Sunday? Well, they're kind-of-sort-of-good.

Like the Vikings and their current win streak, there are ways to pick apart the Broncos' three-game winning streak. 

They only won by two against the lowly Packers in Week 7 followed by a 24-9 win over the Chiefs. That win against the Chiefs when Patrick Mahomes had flu-like symptoms and a major storm dropped plenty of snow on the area. Then comes Monday night's win against the Bills in which Denver needed three turnovers from Josh Allen, the most improbable catch in the history NFL NextGen stats, and a 12-men on the field call to give Denver a second attempt at the game-winning field goal as time expired.

A win is a win and Denver doesn't have to return any of them no matter how fluky or lucky. The Vikings will certainly take the Broncos seriously but Denver's bounce-back from an 0-3 start looks significantly different from the Vikings' resurgence.