Green Bay Packers (6-0)
Denver Broncos (6-0)
Both the Denver Broncos and the Green Bay Packers are 6-0. Both are coming off Bye Weeks. Green Bay beat San Diego in a game where Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers went off for over 500 yards through the air. Denver beat Cleveland in a game that went to overtime and included 3 Peyton Manning interceptions. Denver is a home underdog to the Packers which is a significant rarity. The Broncos don’t often find themselves home underdogs to anyone.
They probably should be. Though the Bye Week has provided some needed respite from remembering the offensive struggles of the first 6 games of the year, those struggles are real and, until the offense illustrates it can consistently move the football and score points, questions will remain. Will this be the week the offense looks better? Will it be able to match up to the Packers point-for-point? If it can’t, if the offense isn’t better, Denver will likely lose this game.
KEY MATCH UP
The Denver linebackers are going to have to do some work in pass support against the Packers. I think the secondary can contain the Packers outside, but the underneath routes, the quick hitters that can become scoring plays are the plays of which the Broncos need to be wary. If the linebackers can continue to bottle up the run and drop back into pass coverage when they need to, the Packers will find it tough to rack up yards and points.
The Denver defense has been the strength of the team and has a chance to be something special this year. Clearly, the Packers are the best offense they’ve gone against in 2015. Can they show the same results against an A-List team that they’ve shown against mediocre ones?
If Manning can limit his mistakes and rediscover some of his competency at the position if not his magic, the Broncos will have a better chance than people think in this one. Manning is transitioning and I don’t think it’s just to a new offense. He’s transitioning to the idea that he doesn’t have to win games on his own. He doesn’t have to make every throw. He doesn’t have to be perfect.
If he can be good, the Broncos can win.
This is obviously the biggest test of the season for the Denver Broncos. Are they the so-called “worst 6-0 team in NFL history?” Who cares? They are 6-0. They have done enough to win. They have shown fight and grit and these were things lacking in recent iterations of the team. The defense is really, really good. The offense can get better. Hopefully it will this week.
That said, beating the Packers is a tall order. This team may not have come together enough on offense to do it yet.