We’ve made it to Week 3 of the Mile High Review. This week, the Broncos face their toughest opponent of this early season. On Sunday, Denver travels to Lambeau to face that bad man Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Much like other previews of Broncos games, the tone here will be really almost the same. Yet, Rodgers is a baaaaadddddd man!
Alone, he brings a unique set of challenges. Still, we will cover the keys to the game on offense and defense, discuss who to look out for on the opposition (this one should be easy), and leave with our prediction. So, let’s get it!
Keys to Victory for the Offense
The song remains the same for the offense. The Broncos have got to get Phillip Lindsay going. Somehow, someway, it needs to happen. Instead, we discuss a different way of doing it is this week. In the recap of last week’s matchup, we looked into the percentage of pass attempts to running backs. This week, that needs to be higher. Last week, it was 28% and the Broncos should aim for 35% or more this week. The majority of those should be for Lindsay. There are not many holes in this Packers defense but the Broncos have to find them. Phillip can do that as a receiver.
Conversely, since Lindsay has had little success running the ball, his carries need to go to Freeman. So far this season, Rolls Royce is averaging 5.2 yards per carry. This is something the Broncos can utilize. In two-back sets, teams would have to account for Freeman and Lindsay. Either teams will focus on Royce or they’ll focus on Phillip. Either way, it’s a win for Broncos. For the 100th time, it’s critical to give this offensive line to help where they can. Two-back sets would help.
Keys to Victory for the Defense
Zero. This is how many turnovers the Broncos defense has this season. Zero. In Spanish, that’s cero. It doesn’t matter what language it’s in, the Denver defense has zero turnovers. That has to change, it just has to. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the offense needs help. It’s a song that’s been on repeat for three weeks now. It will continue until it happens. Secondly, the Broncos need to keep that bad man off the field. Plain and simple. We’ll come back to that. Certainly, there is a way to create turnovers.
Aaron Rodgers needs to know that the defense is at Lambeau. I don’t mean in the “Greg Williams let’s hurt ‘em way”. I mean in 2015, Super Bowl-winning defense way. If that means leaving the defensive backs on an island, then leave them on an island. This Broncos defense needs to get hits (and I stress legal ones) on the quarterback. Rodgers is one of the few quarterbacks in the NFL that can still burn you under pressure, but that doesn’t mean you should just let him have a country minute to pick the defense apart. Make him beat you. Don’t let him beat you.
Player to Look Out For
This one should be obvious. To stress it further, Aaron Rodgers is a baaaaddddd man. He is a crusher of dreams. Mr. Discount Double Check will eat your heart. The Denver defense has to make Rodgers uncomfortable anyway they can. Truthfully, it may not even matter but they still have to try. If Aaron is going to beat you, make it on your terms. That is to say, don’t play it safe. Playing it safe is almost a guaranteed loss.
Rodgers hasn’t truly been lights out this season…yet. He’s had moments of brilliance. Where it looks like no one will be safe but he hasn’t reached peak Rodgers yet. The Broncos cannot be the team that allows him to be that bad man. Get him uncomfortable and keep him there. That’s the only chance the Broncos have to win this game.
If the tone has been pessimistic, it’s because it is. I can’t even bias my way into picking the Broncos to win this game. Besides, I just don’t see it. Unless a miracle happens, the Packers win this one 31-17. As the adage goes, though, any given Sunday….
See you next week for the recap!