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Packers vs Broncos preview: Denver looks for first win at home

The Broncos have started the season 0-3 at home and are also home underdogs to Green Bay on Sunday.

Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos used to have the best home-field advantage in the NFL.

Not anymore.

It’s yet another item we can add to the list of how far this franchise has fallen.

The Broncos (1-5) will look to get their first win of the 2023 season this Sunday when they host the Green Bay Packers (2-3) in Denver.

DraftKings Sportsbook has the Broncos as home underdogs to Green Bay. I still can’t believe I typed that, but it makes sense. The total sits at 44.5. Once again, the under is the safe bet when it comes to Denver games.

Offensive Rankings

Green Bay: Twenty-eighth in overall offense (281.6 yards per game), 27th in rushing offense (81.6 YPG), 21st in passing offense (200.0 YPG), 13th in scoring offense (22.6 points per game).

Denver: Twenty-first in overall offense (306.3 yards per game), 19th in rushing offense (106.0 YPG), 20th in passing offense (200.3 YPG), tied for 17th in scoring offense (21.5 points per game).

Defensive Rankings

Green Bay: Seventeenth in total defense (337.8 yards per game), 28th in rushing defense (143.4 YPG), ninth in passing defense (194.4 YPG), 22nd in scoring defense (22.6 points per game).

Denver: Thirty-second in total defense (440.3 yards per game), 32nd in rushing defense (172.3 YPG), 30th in passing defense (268.0 YPG), 32nd in scoring defense (33.3 points per game).

Here are the MHR staff’s keys to Sunday’s game.

Don’t disappear on offense (again)

When it comes to the Broncos, the other safe bet at DraftKings is the first drive resulting in a touchdown (+370 this week). Denver has scored an opening-drive touchdown in four of six games this season. The problem is the Broncos offense disappears after that happens. Of course, Denver didn’t score a TD on the first drive against the Kansas City Chiefs and just vanished for the full game. The Broncos not only need to open Sunday’s game with a TD, they need to follow it up and not vanish. I won’t hold my breath. — Ian St. Clair

Act like you care about winning games

This is more targeted toward Jerry Jeudy than anything. The way he behaved pre-game last week he needed to go crazy. Instead, he caught 3 passes for 14 yards and then said he didn’t remember any of the pre-game trash-talking after Steve Smith criticized his play. The lack of maturity or desire from this team is so freaking evident with not only Jeudy but the entire team that I really hope Sean Payton blows this roster up and starts over next year. The culture is one of losing, and there is no fixing it. I’ve been a strong defender of Jeudy’s since he came into the league, but he lost my support last week. The overall lack of desire and effort from this team is quite discouraging as a fan and if Payton wants to make this work, he must fix the culture first and foremost. I believe he can only do that with wholesale change everywhere on the roster.

Oh, the key to the game? I guess is to start caring about winning games and show you want to be here next year. If not, then as Al Davis may or may not have said, “Just lose, baby.” — Tim Lynch

Find something else to do

Take a gummy. Swig some beer. Spend time with the kids. Go apple picking. Find a way to relax. Don’t let this group of 60-70 people ruin your Sunday. As for the Broncos, run the ball. — Adam Malnati

Stay out of their own way

When the Broncos were in the process of beating the Packers in Super Bowl XXVII Eugene Robinson famously said “We’re playing the Indianapolis Colts right now. This team is not better than us, they’re not even good!” He was just 26 years ahead of his time. The key seems to be staying out of their own way. It’s a losing, dysfunctional culture and that isn’t gonna change overnight. Maybe they get lucky (unlucky?) and win. But they’ll have to stay out of their own way to do it. Probably not happening. — Mike DeCicco

Establish the Run + Run Out of the Gun

The Broncos passing offense looked horrendous in their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. However, their rushing offense was actually pretty decent. The Green Bay Packers have one of the worst run defenses in the National Football League. They are giving up 4.3 yards per carry and have allowed 6 rushing touchdowns. Additionally, opposing offenses have earned 47 first downs on the ground against the Packers. This would be an apt time for Sean Payton to start leaning on his running game. On top of that, I’d love to see the Broncos start running more out of the shotgun. It would help give variance to their offense and combat the predictability of their running game. It’s baffling that Payton hasn’t bothered to do much of that this season. I’d like to see those things change this week against Green Bay. — Christopher Hart

What are your keys to Sunday’s game?