BRONCOS 29, PACKERS 10
Summary; game report; box score.
Denver — The result Sunday night shouldn’t fool anyone — these teams really could meet again this season.
If they do, it would be in the Super Bowl, of course, and Green Bay would need to be better. A lot better.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers didn’t show up in the most hyped game of the season. Denver won 29-10, and this one was all Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
Rodgers was 14 of 22 for just 77 yards — one of the least productive games of his career. The Broncos outgained the Packers (6-1) by an eye- opening 500-140 margin.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said he hadn’t had his butt “kicked like that in a long time.”
In part because of Manning’s struggles and in part because of Rodgers’ good start to 2015, Green Bay came into this game as a threepoint favorite. Manning threw for 340 yards. Rodgers got sacked three times and fumbled once, which resulted in a safety — the final exclamation point on a dominant day for Denver.
“It’s a good defense, a really good defense,” Rodgers said. “They have a good pass rush. They cover well. I think tonight was more about what we didn’t do. We didn’t execute in the run game, didn’t execute in the pass game, didn’t convert third downs. That’s why we got beat.”
The Broncos — 7-0 for the first time since 1998 — were in complete rhythm behind Manning, who’s struggled week after week but had a topranked defense to help him out.
This time, he didn’t need it. He gave them a lead and let Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware & Co. go to work. With the win, Manning ties Brett Favre for the most victories (186) by a quarterback in the regular season. So much for writing Manning off.
“Yeah, he’s still got it,” Rodgers said of his counterpart. “Yeah, he’s good.”
There were quite a few plays that were indicative of the kind of night it was for the Packers, but this one was as good as any: On a third-down play late in the game, James Jones caught a pass for a first down, tried to gain some extra yards, went backward, fumbled and lost the first down, leading to a Packers punt.
“Frankly, (Broncos coach) Gary Kubiak had his team playing a lot faster than I had my team playing tonight,” McCarthy said. “That was evident early and often. I don’t feel good about the way we performed. . . . Very humbling loss.”
It certainly didn’t help losing cornerback Sam Shields and his backup Quinten Rollins to shoulder injuries in the first half. The Packers also had a scare in the third quarter when linebacker Clay Matthews went to the bench after hurting his left leg.
While he was out, C.J. Anderson broke off a 28-yard run to make it 24-10.
Matthews did return, but the damage was done.
Entering this game, Green Bay’s defense had only allowed 16.8 points per game — tops in the league. Denver eclipsed that in the second quarter. Ronnie Hillman had two TD runs as the Broncos jumped out to a 17-0 lead.
“(Manning) had some turnovers in the previous games but he was still Manning,” cornerback Casey Hayward said. “He commanded their offense tonight. They were coming off a bye just like we were and they were prepared.”
Notes: Rodgers had 31 yards rushing to go over 2,000 in his career. The Packers said he’s the eighth QB in NFL history to have 30,000 passing yards and 2,000 rushing yards. . . . Green Bay is now 23-8 on Sunday night. . . . Eddie Lacy had a 2-yard TD run. . . . The Broncos inducted owner Pat Bowlen into the team’s Ring of Fame at halftime. Bowlen is battling Alzheimer’s disease and did not attend.
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning shakes off his season-long struggles and throws for 340 yards. Manning tied Brett Favre for the most victories (186) by a QB in the regular season.