Photo credit: Mike Morebeck
Author: Joey Carr
364. That’s the amount of yards the Green Bay Packers are averaging per game in 2015. 281. That’s how many yards the Denver Broncos allow per game. In the upcoming battle of offense and defense this Sunday between Green Bay and Denver, something will have to give, and there will be one less undefeated team in the NFL.
Taking a small detour, let’s take a look at something that won’t be talked about very much in the buildup for this game: Green Bay’s defense vs. Denver’s offense. Neither unit is remotely close to as dominant as their counterpart, but yet, both teams haven’t lost a game, which can only mean the other side of the ball is bailing them out each and every game. This scenario is primarily occurring in the Mile High City, with Peyton Manning and company getting some very good fortune with Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. catching multiple Pick-6’s to give the Broncos some breathing room. It’s no secret that the Denver offense has been bad, really bad; Manning has thrown an interception in each game this season, and the run game is either lackluster or nonexistent. So how well will this 29th ranked offense matchup with the 14th ranked defense of Green Bay? Maybe better than you think. If you go back and watch the week 6 matchup that had Green Bay fend off San Diego, you’ll notice that Phillip Rivers and Keenan Allen had career-high games, and the rushing attack was held to just 75 yards. Those stats bode well for The Sheriff and his high quality receiving corps, as Denver has a few more weapons than the Chargers and should be able to run all over the secondary. The one thing that has to happen for the Broncos to win this game though: Peyton Manning has to be somewhat accurate. We’re not used to seeing Number 18 throw more interceptions than touchdowns but this week, in order for Denver to have a shot at staying unbeaten, he has to be the Peyton Manning of old.
Now, getting back on track, let’s take a look at the real matchup of the day: the GB offense vs. the DEN defense. Both of these high-powered units have won the majority of their team’s games so far this season, but one unit will ultimately prevail. So which one will it be? I’m leaning towards the Green Bay offense. Once you consider the quality of quarterbacks that Denver has played this year, none of them come close to comparing to the skillset possessed by Aaron Rodgers. He has pinpoint accuracy and a knack for finding the open man, something the Broncos haven’t faced yet. I’m not saying that the dynamic duo of cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Chris Harris Jr. aren’t up to the task, but there are very few cornerbacks in the league that have been able to stop Rodgers in the past. However, a banged up Randall Cobb and rusty Davante Adams aren’t exactly the receivers that can burn a defense but they, along with ageless veteran James Jones, haven’t had any problems so far in the season. The one thing that might derail the Packers offensive charge is the formidable Denver front seven and linebacker corps. Led by Von Miller and Demarcus Ware, the pass rush of Denver has been nearly impossible to stop so far this season and an average Green Bay offensive line might not be up to the task of stopping them. It’ll certainly be something to keep an eye when Sunday Night comes around.
All in all, this will be an absolutely fantastic game (at least everyone hopes). Two of the more dominant teams in the league battling it out under the lights on Sunday night is a recipe for a fun-filled night. In the end, however, I see Green Bay’s high flying offense getting the job done and the Denver offense continuing to struggle against an up and coming Packer defense.
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