The Denver Broncos are a perfect 6-0. They're at home on Sunday Night Football - a stage in which Peyton Manning has always particularly shined. Yet Manning and company are actually underdogs against Aaron Rodgers and the visiting Green Bay Packers this Sunday, according to the latest NFL odds.
It seems far-fetched that a perfect team could be underdogs at home in Week 8 of the 2015 NFL season, but the Packers and company are perfect, too. And the term "perfect" is used a bit loosely here - Denver's record may be spotless, but we all know there is a glaring weakness on the non-defense side of the team. Bill Barnwell of Grantland summed up the current state of Broncos football:
"The Broncos remain one of the more unimpressive teams in league history to start 6-0," Barnwell writes. "They've won their six games by a combined 37 points, the worst point differential since the merger for a team that started 6-for-6. They're six points worse than the 2000 Vikings, who went 5-5 the rest of the way."
Rodgers and Green Bay will pose a unique challenge for Denver, whose top-ranked defense hasn't faced a quarterback playing at a Pro-Bowl level this season, let alone a two-time NFL MVP who's making a push for his third such honor.
"We have a long week ahead of us," Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said Monday. "That was my message this morning. We have to stay grounded. We have a lot of work to do to prepare for them. Today was just about getting back to work. We had good energy today, we competed against each other today and we're going to move on to Green Bay on Wednesday. We know what we're facing. I don't have any doubt that we'll be ready to play emotionally with the type of game that we're in, but we need to make sure that we keep doing the work to play, too. That's the most important thing."
While the Broncos have a lot of work ahead of them, there's no doubt that there have been chinks in Green Bay's armor these past few weeks. We can't help but remain surprised that Green Bay is favored over the Broncos at home.