Broncos and Packers: Historical Powers Meet Under the Lights


This is a really interesting game to me for many reasons. Last Thursday, October 22, I was at the Lambeau Field Atrium in Green Bay, the bye week for both the Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers obviously and was able to take a tour of the stadium as well as the Packers’ Hall of Fame.

As an important part of this article, I must tell you that August 11, 1919, is an important day in the annals of NFL history for this is the day that the Green Bay Packers, the only community-owned team in the NFL, was founded. The Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League are also community-owned and are comparably rabid about their squad as Packers fans are.

Anyway, with both of these teams at 6-0, I do believe the Broncos and Packers are a dream match up for national television with two historical powers on the field for Sunday Night Football and the honor of Broncos’ owner Pat Bowlen being inducted into the Broncos’ Ring of Fame makes him the 28th inductee.

He is, of course, the most deserving, having created the Ring of Fame, when he purchased the Broncos in 1984 from Edgar Kaiser Jr.

In this vein of thought, I’m fully expecting a magnificent game Sunday night and the Broncos actually have gotten to sleep in their beds for a while with the bye week and a subsequent home game. Many can criticize future Hall of Fame signal-caller Peyton Manning and have the right to do so, of course, for it is given unto them.

However, when one considers that the Broncos are 6-0 and have had only two home games and Manning, sans his interceptions against the Browns and Raiders, seems to be getting more comfortable overall in the offense of head coach Gary Kubiak if one watches all the film, the best could still be yet to come, especially with the game-winning field goal drive at Cleveland serving as his most recent act.

Manning has said in words to the Denver media that he needs to improve and wants to do his part to keep up with a defense that has been lights out this season. Perhaps with sufficient time to study the Packers, he can expose weaknesses and if anyone can find them, it would be Manning, the master film student.

The Broncos’ defense has been magnificent, of course, and the reason why the Broncos are 6-0 and Manning would tell you the same. Burgeoning star defensive end Malik Jackson has perhaps been the most impressive, netting four sacks on the season and deflecting several passes while being an overall disruptive force for opposing offenses.

There have been 26 sacks on the season as well, along with 11 forced fumbles, eight of which have been returned and of the nine interceptions, three have been returned for scores, with two by cornerback Aqib Talib and the other from the cornerback on the other side, Chris Harris Jr.

The secondary should meet a strong match in Packers’ signal-caller Aaron Rodgers who is completing 68.1 percent of his passes and thrown for 15 touchdowns against only 2 interceptions. His stats, across the board, are the best they have been since 2011, which was when the Packers went 15-1 only to be upset by the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs.

Beyond this, Rodgers has cobbled together impressive stats despite the absence of his favorite receiver Jordy Nelson, lost for the season with a torn ACL, and Randall Cobb, who has been hobbled with a shoulder injury, sustained in the preseason.

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What impresses me the most about Rodgers, though, is his career touchdown-interception ratio as he has 241 career touchdowns against only 59 career interceptions. In other words, he throws 4.08 touchdowns for every interception so that makes him the most efficient signal-caller in NFL history.

If the Broncos’ imposing secondary can win the battle against the Packers’ peerless passer and ultimately force some key turnovers and score on them, the commentators on the Packers’ flagship radio station, AM-620 WTMJ in Milwaukee stated the key is that the Broncos score on any turnovers.

With all of this said, enjoy what could be the best game of the season to this point and many more tough matchups await, but that’s what makes you championship-caliber. Iron sharpens iron as the saying goes.