It was the battle of two undefeated giants. The Green Bay Packers marched into Sports Authority Stadium looking for a win. But, the Denver Broncos defense turned them away. The Broncos defense stood strong and helped their offense give the Packers a 29-10 drubbing in the Mile High City.
The Broncos were never in any trouble from the start of the game. After six games of hearing how he was washed up and needs to retire, Peyton Manning found a way to get with the Broncos’ program. He was rightfully sarcastic with reporters, per USA Today.
“How can I say this, without hurting anybody’s feelings?” Manning said. “I just don’t give what y’all say that much energy. I’m not going to pull a Jim Mora on you and say the famous, ‘You think you know, but you just don’t know and you never will.’ It’s a great line. I’m not saying that. I’ll say it at some point. It’s not the time now. I just have been very determined to get comfortable in this offense.”
Aaron Rodgers walked onto the Sunday Night Football stage as one of the elite quarterbacks in the league. His career 106.3 passer rating will prove that fact. But, the Denver Broncos’ defense was able to shut him down. Rodgers found himself moving around in the pocket and having to hit check-down receivers, the majority of the game. The Broncos’ defense was swarming around him like bees.
The Broncos’ defense held Rodgers to 77 passing yards. That ranked as his lowest total in a game he started and did not leave because of injury. His previous low was 142 yards in 2008, his first season as a starter. The Packers had 140 yards of total offense, their fewest in a game in the past two seasons. That’s still quite an accomplishment, for the league’s stingiest defense.
Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was so proud of the Broncos’ D, he showed up on Twitter the next day.
Rodgers was sacked three times by the swarming Broncos defense and hurried all night. Each time he looked to go deep, there was a Denver defender running stride for stride with the target. Along with the ferocious pass rush, the Packers were in red alert mode the entire game.
Coach Mike McCarthy had a more direct approach for the carnage.
“That’s a humbling loss,” the 10th-year head coach said. “I haven’t had my a** kicked like that in a long time.”
The Broncos’ defense did a lot of butt kicking Sunday. The defensive line pass rush pressure comes from everywhere. Trying to set blocking schemes for the blitzes and stunts is a nightmare. DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller are the chess pieces that get tossed into the mix like a laboratory experiment gone haywire. Wade Phillips tinkered with the Broncos’ defense and set up mismatches that plague the Packers continuously.
It seemed as if the Packers were waiting to take advantage of the Broncos’ loaded front. But, the running game never got going. The Denver defense was able to limit the Packers to 90 yards rushing. A third of that came from Rodgers scrambling to make something happen.
The Broncos’ defense and offense finally got on the same page and found out how scary they can be. Now the NFL knows, too.
[Feature Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images]