Heading into Week 7 of the 2015 season featured two undefeated teams in the Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers. And on Sunday Night Football no less. All week long, analysts and pundits gave Denver little chance to stand up to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
Boy were they ever wrong.
From the very start, the Broncos defense asserted its dominance over the Packers and the Broncos offense found its legs for their best performance of the 2015 season with Peyton Manning at quarterback.
The big plays in the passing game that had been lacking all season showed up in this one. The first was to Demaryius Thomas over the middle for a 30 yard gain and a first and goal opportunity.
From there, the Broncos took their next possession and marched 95 yards on just six plays to go up 14-0. The big play on this drive once again came via Demaryius on a 47 yard pass from Manning.
While the Packers would get a late first half touchdown, they had to work for every inch of ground they gained on a 10-play, 61 yard drive before halftime to cut the Broncos lead to 17-7. They even added a field goal on their opening second half drive to make it seem like this was going to be a game, but that would be all she wrote for the Green Bay Packers this day.
The Broncos answered with an 8-play, 80 yard drive of their own. With chunk play after chunk play, beginning with a 20 yard pass to Demaryius Thomas and a 24 yard pass to Andre Caldwell. That put Denver within striking distance and three plays later it would be C.J. Anderson who brought home the bacon on this 28 yard touchdown run.
The defense sealed the deal from there. Rodgers found no breathing room to do anything. Early in the fourth quarter, DeMarcus Ware exploded off the line with a phantom block by a tight end to strip Rodgers of the ball.
The result was a safety and a blowout home victory for the Denver Broncos. It wouldn’t be the first time that season for national pundits to overlook the Broncos before a big game. They’d do it all the way to the very end.