Denver Broncos, Peyton Manning Humble Green Bay Packers at Mile High
Denver held Aaron Rodgers to 77 passing yards and Peyton Manning threw for 340 yards to help the Broncos remain unbeaten and hand the Packers their first loss of the season.
Yes, 77 passing yards. That's not a misprint. It's all Rodgers was able to throw for against the vaunted Denver defense. The Broncos had constant pressure on Rodgers and were blanketing Green Bay's receivers all night Sunday.
For the Packers, it's a humbling loss. Green Bay had two weeks to prepare for Denver with a bye last week. The Packers got whooped and the Broncos had a magnificent game plan led by Gary Kubiak and Wade Phillips to keep Rodgers off balance. Denver showed they have the best defense in the league, Manning looked good and the Broncos' run game had three rushing touchdowns and 160 yards.
Green Bay's best play of the game came on an interception by rookie cornerback Damarious Randall. It was a spectacular play by the former Arizona State safety. Other than that, the Packers were dominated by Denver. The Broncos frustrated Rodgers and Green Bay's defense allowed 500 total net yards to Denver. And two of Green Bay's top defensive backs, Sam Shields and Quinten Rollins, left in the first half of the game with injuries.
Packers fans waited two weeks and all day Sunday to watch two unbeaten teams square off. It was a game to forget, too. Green Bay will have to move on quickly, as they head to Carolina next week. The Packers' game against the Panthers will be way more important as it's match-up between NFC teams with a potential tiebreaker for seeding in the playoffs. Green Bay cannot dwell on this loss. There's no more byes and the season is getting tougher. The Packers play Carolina next week and Minnesota in two weeks in Minneapolis. The Vikings are 5-2 and a game back of the 6-1 Packers. Deeper into the season, Green Bay faces Dallas, Oakland, Arizona and the Vikings again. It's not time to panic. It's time for the Packers to get better and learn from their mistakes. Green Bay's offense is averaging 19.5 points per game over the past month. The Packers got Davante Adams back Sunday and Eddie Lacy had a rushing touchdown. Green Bay's offense has to find their stride again so they will be playing their best football late in the season.
Don't worry, Packers fans. Remember that Rodgers taught us to R-E-L-A-X last year. The season's not over and there are plenty of games left.
Sam Tastad will have stories on the Packers all season with pre-and-post game previews. Follow him on Twitter @samtastad and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.