For the first time in the 2023-24 season, the Denver Broncos have won a home game. The Broncos defeated the Green Bay Packers and improved to a 2-5 win-loss record. Denver now has a 2-0 record against the NFC North. Denver won by a19-17 score.
The Broncos ended their 10-game losing streak when leading at halftime (the longest in the NFL). It is also the first Sean Payton home win as the Broncos head coach.
The Broncos were up 9-0 at halftime. In the fourth quarter, the Packers came back and were up by one point. Kicker Wil Lutz made the game-leading field goal with a little under four minutes left in the game, and backup safety PJ Locke secured the win with a late interception.
With that being said, let's review the key takeaways from the Broncos week 7 win.
1. Establishing a good run game was good for the offense:
Despite two negative yardage runs (a -11 yard end around by Marvin Mims, and a -2 yard run by Michael Burton), the Denver Broncos had a season-high in both total rushing yards (145) and individual rushing yards by a player (Javonte Williams had 82). By establishing a good run game since the start, quarterback Russell Wilson was not forced to throw the ball much, and it was a very positive thing for the offense regarding the clock eating.
Javonte Williams, Jaleel McLaughlin, and even Russell Wilson, all three had at least one 20+ yards carry. The offensive line made big and important holes for the backs to have these types of carries. Not only the running backs had good carries, but they had good plays which ended in first downs. All three running backs had more than 5.0 yards per carry.
Williams had 15 carries for 82 yards (5.5 per carry), McLaughlin had 5 carries for 45 yards (9 per carry), and Perine had only one carry for 5 yards.
2. Have a day, Wil Lutz:
Broncos did not trust their kickers (Elliott Fry, and Brett Maher) in the offseason, and traded for Wil Lutz. In Sunday's win, Lutz went 4 for 4 on field goals, including a 52-yarder (his season high) to take the lead with less than four minutes left on the clock. Additionally, he made his only extra-point attempt. He scored 13 out of the 19 total points by the Broncos. His best game as a Bronco so far!
Lutz's field goals were from 32, 29, 35, and 52 yards respectively. As I mentioned before, his 52-yard field goal made late in the game, was his longest of the season (so far).
Head Coach Sean Payton spoke about Wil postgame, by saying the following ...
""Lutz was big all day. Proud of him""- Sean Payton, after WK 7 win
Lutz has been perfect in both field goals and extra points since missing his first-ever field goal attempt as a Bronco in week 1 against the Raiders.
3. Importance of winning the turnover battle:
A very important thing to win football games is forcing turnovers, which is something I mentioned in my "Keys to beat the Packers" article a few days ago. For the fourth consecutive game, the Broncos defense had an interception. This time it was safety PJ Locke, with a clutch interception to practically clinch the win.
Not everytime when you win the turnover battle, you win the game, but ... if you force turnovers on your opponent, you have better chances of winning. Broncos win over Green Bay is a huge example of it, as Packers' rookie kicker Anders Carlson missed a field goal attempt before halftime, and the Broncos took advantage on it, by scoring following that miss. Also not having offensive turnovers was huge for the Denver Broncos. Russell Wilson had his fourth game of the season without an interception.
The Broncos are now 2-5 and will host the Kansas City Chiefs for their second matchup of the season. Can they upset KC? What are your main keys from the Broncos win over Green Bay?