Power Rankings: No. 1 Denver Broncos

A weekly examination of the Broncos’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 3 | Last Week: 2 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

With their 59-20 demolition of the Philadelphia Eagles this past weekend, the Broncos moved up a spot and to the top of the ESPN.com Power Rankings as they emphatically launched themselves out of what coach John Fox calls the “first quarter of a four-quarter season." They have done it with an opportunistic defense still without two of its best players and an offense that has overwhelmed four consecutive opponents.

The Broncos are averaging 44.8 points per game, a pace that is eight points better than the highest-scoring offense in league history: the 2007 New England Patriots. Quarterback Peyton Manning has thrown 16 touchdown passes, or more touchdowns than every other team in the league has scored overall. They have beaten their four opponents by an average of 22 points.

Oh, and they have played defense without cornerback Champ Bailey or star pass-rusher Von Miller in the lineup. Bailey has missed four games with a left foot injury he suffered in preseason and Miller will miss two more games as part of his six-game suspension.

“But there’s plenty to work on,’’ Fox said. “We want ... to be playing our best football in February.’’