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HT: Broncos ready for the challenge against formidable Packers

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Broncos Country!

There's a lot of hype over Sunday night's game between the Broncos and Packers and it's not just about two undefeated teams playing in prime time (but somebody at NBC is really happy right now about the decision to have these two teams play Sunday Night Football this weekend).

It's also about the Broncos defense facing a Top 10 offense, the Broncos' pass rushers challenging one of the league's hottest QBs (I'll let you decide the context of that remark), the Broncos offense being able to move the ball and score in the red zone, and the Broncos' quarterback throwing TDs to his players rather than the Packers.

This game counts the same as all of the other ones that we play. We know that we're going to have to play extremely well.   -Gary Kubiak

With all that hype, Gary Kubiak and Co. are reminding the players just to play it like any other game.

"It counts the same as all of the other ones that we've played," Kubiak said, adding that everyone knows what an important game this is. "We know that we're going to have to play extremely well. That's the nature of the business, but we understand that we have to worry about how we play."

"How we play" needs to include several things, starting with protecting the quarterback.

"We have our hands full because [Packers defenders] play everywhere," Kubiak said. "They get them on backs, the get them on tackles, the get them on guards, so everybody will have their chance. How we protect our quarterback will be extremely important to the football game."

For those of us wondering if Kubiak and offensive coordinator have a new offensive approach in mind, here are all the hints you are going to get.  "We're doing a lot of different things. He's under center at times. He's in shotgun. He's in and out in ‘pistol'," Denndison said. "I think we're trying to do all we can to do what's best for him and our team."

Kubiak said we can expect more three-wide and four-wide sets, hoping to get Bennie FowlerAndre Caldwell and Cody Latimer more involved as the season goes along.

"Yeah, I think they're going to all be involved. It really kind of all depends," Kubiak said. "I think you're going to see them all. Of our six receivers, three of them are big special teams guys, so those guys get used up in different ways. I think you'll see them all as we move forward."

Of course, establishing that pesky run game will remain a top priority.

"We found a way to work through that and run the ball a little bit better, especially in Cleveland," Kubiak said. "Hopefully we can grow from that standpoint. Hopefully we get some of these guys up front consistently playing. That will be a big key to our progress, I think."

Ronnie Hillman knows the Packers defense won't be an easy one to run through, but he doesn't think it will be the toughest they've faced.

"I think that this will be a good week to get on the board and actually help our defense," Hillman said. "I just think that the offensive line is starting to get in a groove and it's making it easier for us to run. ...we need to build on that, build off what we did against Cleveland and get it going. This will be a good week to get it going."

We've got our hands full against their defense. We're continuing to work hard to improve. I certainly want to do my part better as well.  -Peyton Manning

It will certainly be an important one as the Broncos defense will have its hands full keeping Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense in check.

"Green Bay is going to make some plays offensively. We have to be able to do our part to score some points," said Peyton Manning, who has drawn the most ire from fans concerned about his lack of touchdown passes, especially compared to his interceptions. "We've got our hands full going against their defense. They are No. 1 in points. It doesn't come easy, but we're continuing to work hard to try to improve. I certainly want to do my part better, as well."

The defense seems to know in theory that there may come an offense that will overcome them in the end, but these players aren't really buying into the naysaying hype just yet.

And they've heard they are going up against one of the best quarterbacks in the league, a Pro Bowler who carves up defenses like they were jack-o-lanterns.

But T.J. Ward and his teammates just consider this fuel for their motivation.

"[Rodgers) is very accurate, very mobile, very controlled in most situations. He's one of the best," Ward said, adding that he gets excited to play against the best. "Oh, absolutely. Every time. It doesn't matter if it's just the quarterback or any position. I'm always up for a challenge."

That's good, because Sunday is definitely going to be one.

Horse Tracks

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Ring of Fame

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