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2020 Power Rankings Roundup, Week 15: Broncos get bump after beating Panthers


Last week: 23

The special-teams units — Diontae Spencer's punt return TD in Sunday's win not withstanding — have had plenty of migraine moments this season, likely more than that rating indicates. But this team's fortunes have fallen the hardest because of an offense that has turned the ball over far too often and scored touchdowns too few times.

Dan Hanzus,

Last week: 24

How could you not love the play call by Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, who dialed up a deep shot to KJ Hamler to ice Sunday's 32-27 win over the Panthers? Running the ball to burn clock served as the logical strategy, but the Broncos instead put their faith in Drew Lock, who responded with his fourth touchdown pass of the day. It was a dream opportunity for Lock, a born gunslinger who lives to throw deep. Lock's second season has been a disappointment on balance, but a hot finish can only help in what will be another offseason of scrutiny at the quarterback position in Denver.

Mark Maske, Washington Post

Last week: 25

The good version of QB Drew Lock was on display in the victory over the Panthers. Unfortunately, there's no way to know from week to week if that version will show up. Coach Vic Fangio deserves some credit for holding things together this season. He has not complained about some of the competitive issues the Broncos have faced because of coronavirus-related matters and simply has tried to do the best with whatever has been available to him.

Bleacher Report

Last week: 25

Twenty-one completions on 27 attempts for 280 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 149.5.

That, folks, is the stat line for a franchise quarterback. It's also what Drew Lock did Sunday in Carolina.

Take a look at some of our favorite photos from the Broncos' game against the Panthers in Week 14, as selected by photographers Gabriel Christus and Jacob Kupferman.

Frank Schwab, Yahoo Sports

Last week: 23

Drew Lock played a patient game on Sunday, picking his spots and setting up a couple long touchdown passes to K.J. Hamler. That doesn't mean he has changed his game and won't fall back into reckless throws into coverage. But at least it was a step in the right direction after most of his season has been a mess.

Sports Illustrated

This season has not brought the definitive answer to the Broncos' QB question the team had hoped for, but Drew Lock made a strong case to continue to hold onto the job with his performance vs. the Panthers, throwing four touchdowns with no interceptions.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports

Last week: 24

They have to be excited about Drew Lock going forward. His four-touchdown game against the Panthers was impressive.

Nate Davis, USA Today

Last week: 26

Suspensions and injuries have now cost them five cornerbacks – great news with Josh Allen and the Bills headed to the Mile High City.

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

Last week: 25

Drew Lock needed that performance against the Panthers for his team to have more confidence in him for 2021. Maybe everyone was simply a year early on their emergence with him.

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