The best team performance in 2015 occurred on a Sunday Night Football game between two unbeaten teams. Leading up to that Week 8 showdown the national media gushed all over the undefeated Green Bay Packers and their star quarterback Aaron Rodgers while discounting the upstart Denver Broncos and their “lucky” defense that secured several close victories through the first six games.
In six games, the Broncos offense looked more liability than legit contender as the defensive side of the ball was carrying them up until that point. However, on “Pat Bowlen night” in the Mile High City, the Broncos clicked in all phases.
It was the ground game that kept the Packers defense off balance with 161 total yards and three touchdowns, but it was C.J. Anderson who dominated with 14 carries for 101 yards.
That opened things up for Peyton Manning who attacked deep down the field for his final 300 yard performance of his career. He finished with 340 yards on the night.
But even more impressive was that Broncos defense. They had been kind of lucky through the first six games with the ball bouncing always their way. However, against Rodgers they flexed their muscles.
Rodgers threw zero interceptions and was sacked just three times, but he was under duress the entire game. The No Fly Zone was so good at locking down every option that Rodgers would finish with a paltry 77 yards passing after completed 14/22 passing. It remains one of his least productive games in his Hall of Fame career.
DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller each had a sack, with Ware’s resulting in a fumble that the Packers recovered in the end zone for a safety. The final score in this game was Denver 29, Packers 10. It was a dominating win that forced everyone covering the NFL to take a harder look at this Broncos team, particularly that Broncos defense.
As I was looking back on what I wrote back then about this game, it was my own score prediction that stood out. I feel pretty good seeing what my expectations were heading into that weekend and was mostly right except the Packers never scored that late touchdown to make the score closer. That Broncos defense just totally shut them down. Even in all that optimism, I was doubting the No Fly Zone’s true potential.
It’s good to be wrong! This game was a fun one and I’m glad I rewatched it this week.