The task doesn’t get any easier for the Denver Broncos.
Not only is Vic Fangio and Co. looking for their first win of the season, the Broncos will have to get it in a place they’ve never won before. Sunday will serve as the seventh game played in Wisconsin against the Green Bay Packers. Denver played the Packers twice at Milwaukee County Stadium (1971 and 1987). The Broncos didn’t play their first game at Lambeau Field until 1993. Sorry for the tangent, I thought it was really interesting.
Anyway, back on topic. In those six games against the Packers in Wisconsin, Denver is 0-5-1. Broncos Country needs no reminder of what the Broncos’ record is as we speak. The task to get that first win definitely doesn’t get any easier, and it only gets more difficult when you throw Aaron Rodgers into the equation.
On the MHR Radio Podcast (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify), Adam Malnati and dive into Denver’s brutal schedule before previewing Sunday’s game with our keys to the game and players to watch.
Denver: Sixteenth in overall offense (358.0 yards), 20th in rushing (92.5), 15th in passing (265.5) and 28th in points (15.0).
Green Bay: Twenty-ninth in overall offense (274.0 yards), 19th in rushing (95.5), 26th in passing (178.5) and tied for 26th in points (15.5).
Denver: Tenth in overall defense (315.0 yards), tied for 23rd in rushing (125.5), fourth in passing (189.5) and tied for 14th in points (20.0).
Green Bay: Thirteenth in overall defense (337.5 yards), 19th in rushing (122.0), 11th in passing (215.5) and second in points (9.5).
Here are the MHR staff’s keys to Sunday’s game.
The best way to unleash Von Miller and Bradley Chubb is to make Rodgers and the Packers offense one dimensional. If the Broncos take away the running game, that also increases the likelihood they beat Green Bay. The other benefit is it gives more opportunities to Joe Flacco and Denver’s offense to possess the ball. Shutting down the running game is the facet that Fangio and Denver’s defense needs to fix. No better time to do it then Sunday vs the Packers to get that first win. — Ian St. Clair
Offensive line discipline
If penalties keep killing the Broncos’ drives like they have been, their offense won’t be putting enough points on the board to make Green Bay get aggressive enough for the pass rush to get home. As always, it all starts up front. — Taylor Kothe
Ride the running backs
The Packers have one of the scarier pass defenses in the league, but they concede yards on the ground by design. The Broncos need to punish them for it. On defense Fangio needs to attack the Green Bay guards, even if it means sending blitzers to do so. — Just_JoRo
Get to Rodgers
Miller can’t be invisible, but there has to be a push up the middle from Shelby Harris, Derek Wolfe, Adam Gotsis et al. And if the Broncos are able to make good on Ian’s key, getting that pressure becomes a little “easier.” And Rodgers has knack for holding the ball too long, so that could help the Broncos at least get hits and pressure. — Adam Malnati
Red-zone and third-down offense
Denver converted 21 percent of its third downs against the Chicago Bears, which ranked 26th in the NFL. In the red zone, the Broncos currently sit at 30th in the league, converting 28 percent of their red-zone trips to touchdowns. It doesn’t matter what the defense does, if the offense doesn’t improve in those areas, Denver’s not going to win games. — Jeff Essary