In the matchup of the week, perhaps the matchup of the year, the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers make the trek south to Denver for this heavyweight matchup. Peyton Manning will be waiting for him at Mile High Stadium, where it’s an epic battle between the best of the past, Peyton Manning, and the present, Aaron Rodgers. Manning’s arm is in the toilet, I really don’t see how he goes past this season. And it’s disappointing because he is still smart and knows where to go with the ball, it’s just his physical capabilities are holding him back severely. I called this last season after the Bills game, I think it was, and he hasn’t done anything since then to prove me wrong. By now, we have accepted that the Broncos are a defensive team. They win games by eating clock, giving their defense plenty of rest, and let them go and win the game. Manning doesn’t have any resemblance of a running game to help him out either, so it is doubly troubling in Denver.
But the defense has been fantastic for the Broncos, we give them that. I always wonder how unbeatable the Broncos would be if they had the Manning record breaking offense and this defensive unit. I realize the defensive numbers would suffer a bit if the offense was still going up-tempo, but they certainly didn’t have the same talent, such as cornerback Aqib Talib and DeMarcus Ware. Ware has 4.5 sacks on the season, and Talib has intercepted 3 passes. Rodgers better be cognisant of where Talib is on the field. Surely, I don’t have to tell him that much. The Packers have had a defense of their own, so from what we have seen this season, I don’t think this is going to be a classic Rodgers vs. Manning shootout. While the Packers’ offense has looked good this season, they are missing something without Jordy Nelson. An unfortunate knee injury that came in the preseason. One team will leave 7-0 and another will lose their first game of the season. Something has to give in Denver. I continue the conversation in the next section.
Green Bay Packers vs. Denver Broncos NFL
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Packers vs. Broncos Pick:
The last time the Packers and Broncos played, Denver blew the doors off the Packers 49-23. That was all the way back in 2011. Can you guess who the quarterback was the Broncos? None other than Kyle Orton. I don’t see Peyton Manning outperforming Orton from that day four years ago. Said no one ever, but I think it’s going to be true here. There have been some scary numbers associated with Manning this season.
Note that he has a passer rating of only 72.5. Where do you think that places Manning? Dead last in the NFL. Kind of hard to fathom that some other quarterbacks have a better rating than Manning does. Brandon Weeden’s QB rating: 92.1. He has tossed 7 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season. His ball flutters and hangs up, resulting in easy picks for the opposition. The Broncos have also rushed for only 2 touchdowns on the ground. San Francisco has actually scored more touchdowns than the Broncos have in 2015.
The Packers defense has allowed only 16.8 points per game this season. As a team they have 8 interceptions on the season, tied for 6th in the league. The Broncos have had a really strong defense this season as well, posting 17 points surrendered per game. They are 1st in the NFL with regards to total yards allowed per game at 281.3.
However, lets take a look at the teams the Broncos have played this season, any elite offenses? Ravens, Chiefs, Lions, Vikings, Raiders, and Browns. The Raiders may actually be the best offense they’ve played this season and Joe Flacco the best quarterback. Good, but not great. They are going to face their first great offense today. The Packers are averaging 27.3 points per game, 5th in the NFL. I see something along the lines of a 27-20 Packers win.
PICK: PACKERS -2.5 (-120)