Denver Broncos Seek First 7-0 Start Since 1998 As They Host Green Bay Packers

Denver Broncos Seek First 7-0 Start Since 1998 As They Host Green Bay Packers

The Broncos face a bittersweet weekend as they honor their first Super Bowl winning team in 1997 and their ailing owner, Pat Bowlen.

Harold Connett

It's a bittersweet weekend for the 6-0 Denver Broncos as they prepare to host the 6-0 Green Bay Packers on Sunday night at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.  

The Broncos will be celebrating their 1997 team, the team that won Super Bowl XXXII over the Packers 31-24 to earn the franchise its first championship. Players and coaches from that team including Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe, Mike Shanahan and current Broncos general manager John Elway will be on hand for the ceremony at halftime. Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak was the offensive coordinator for the team that broke a four-game Super Bowl losing streak and went on to back-to-back wins.

Broncos owner Pat Bowlen is also being honored as his name is unveiled on the stadium's ring of fame. Bowlen's family will be in attendance to represent the man that took over the franchise in 1984. Bowlen was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease last year.

This will be just the second meeting between Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers and the first with Manning as a Bronco. Both teams are coming off bye weeks which went a long way to getting them healthy.

The Broncos will have linebacker DeMarcus Ware back on defense after missing two games with a back injury. Left Tackle Ty Sambrailo will be on the sidelines once again as he struggles to return from a shoulder injury.

The Packers, ranked eighth in the NFL in rushing, will attempt to run the ball with Eddie Lacy and James Starks to offset the Broncos vaunted pass rush that has sacked the quarterback 26 times this season. The Broncos have been just as successful against the run, ranking fourth in the NFL heading into Week 8 with an average of 3.2 yards per game.  

Rodgers will be the quickest quarterback the Broncos defense has faced so far this year. The Broncos will be challenged by Rodgers' ability to break containment and make accurate passes on the run. It will be up to the secondary to cover the Packers receivers tightly to keep Rodgers from making a big play downfield as he scrambles away from the pass rush.

With a week off the Broncos have been focused on resurrecting their 29th ranked offense. Manning has produced his worst numbers since his rookie year, throwing just seven touchdowns with 10 interceptions. The run game has been stuck in reverse for much of the season.

When Manning has been in his normal shotgun position and audibilizing, the Broncos passing game has produced. Putting Manning back in his comfort zone and forgoing the attempt to make him a bootleg quarterback will go a long way to fixing the offensive problems that have plagued this team through seven games.

Featuring the speedy Ronnie Hillman in the running game, the owner of two 100-yard rushing games over the past three games, gives the Broncos more offensive balance. They will need that balance as they face a stingy Green Bay scoring defense.

Green Bay Packers - Denver Broncos 

Week 8 - 11/01/15

Time:  8:30 PM ET


Location:  Sports Authority Field at Mile High

Line:  Packers -3 (Westgate Superbook)

2015 Record

Green Bay Packers


6-0 (1st, NFC North)

Home: 4-0

Road: 2-0

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers scrambles with the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on October 4, 2015 in Santa Clara, California.
(Oct. 3, 2015 - Source: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images North America)

Denver Broncos


6-0 (1st, AFC West)

Home: 2-0

Road: 4-0

Outside linebacker Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos celebrates after sacking quarterback Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the Minnesota Vikings during a game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 4, 2015 in Denver, Colorado.
(Oct. 3, 2015 - Source: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images North America) 

Head-To-Head Record (1971-Present)

Regular Season: Packers lead 5-6-1

Playoffs: Broncos Lead 1-0 (Super Bowl XXXII)

At Denver:  Broncos Lead 5-1

Green Bay Packers running back Eddy Lacy.  Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America

Last Met:

10/02/11 at Green Bay:  Broncos 23  Packers 49. Aaron Rodgers threw for a career-high 408 yards and tied his career high of four touchdowns passes in a 26-point rout of the Broncos. Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton threw for three touchdowns but was also intercepted three times. The Packers improved to 4-0 while the Broncos dropped to 1-3.


Green Bay Packers
Offense Position NFL Seasons
Davante Adams WR 2
David Bakhtiari LT 3
Josh Sitton LG 8
Corey Linsley C 2
T.J. Lang RG 7
Bryan Bulaga RT 6
Richard Rodgers TE 2
Randall Cobb WR 5
Aaron Rodgers QB 11
John Kuhn FB 10
Eddie Lacy RB 3
Defense Position NFL Seasons
Mike Pennel DE 2
B.J. Raji NT 7
Mike Daniels DT 4
Clay Matthews LOLB 7
Nate Palmer BLB 3
Jake Ryan MLB R
Julius Peppers ROLB 14
Casey Hayward LCB 4
Morgan Burnett SS 6
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix FS 2
Sam Shields RCB 6
Special Teams Position NFL Seasons
Mason Crosby K 9
Tim Masthay P,H 6
Brett Goode LS 8
Ty Montgomery KR R
Micah Hyde PR 3

Denver Broncos

Offense Position NFL Seasons
Demaryius Thomas WR 6
Virgil Green TE 5
Ty Sambrailo LT R
Evan Mathis LG 10
Matt Paradis C 1
Louis Vasquez RG 7
Ryan Harris RT 9
Owen Daniels TE 10
Emmanuel Sanders WR 6
Peyton Manning QB 18
C.J. Anderson RB 3
Defense Position NFL Seasons
Derek Wolfe DE 4
Sylvester Williams NT 3
Malik Jackson DE 4
Von Miller SLB 5
Brandon Marshall ILB 4
Danny Trevathan ILB 4
DeMarcus Ware WLB 11
Aqib Talib LCB 8
T.J. Ward SS 6
Darian Stewart FS 6
Chris Harris  Jr. RCB 4
Special Teams Position NFL Seasons
Brandon McManus K 2
Britton Colquitt P,H 7
Aaron Brewer LS 4
Omar Bolden KR 4
Emmanuel Sanders PR 6


2015 NFL Rankings (YPG)

  Packers Broncos
Total Offense 12th (364.2) 29th (325.8)
Passing 22nd (236.8) 18th (240.8)
Rushing 8th (127.3) 30th (85.0)
Total Defense 14th (355.0) 1st (281.3)
Passing 12th (236.5) 1st (192.2)
Rushing 22nd (118.5) 4th (89.2)


Team Leaders
Passing C/ATT PCT ATT/G YDS AVG YDS/G Long TD INT Sacks Rating Rank
Aaron Rogers 124/182 68.1 30.3 1,491 8.2 248.5 23 15 2 11 115.9 18th
Peyton Manning 146/237 61.6 39.5 1,524 6.4 254.0 75 7 10 12 72.5 17th
Rushing CAR CAR/G YDS AVG YDS/G Long TD Rank        
James Starks 63 10.5 286 4.5 47.7 65 1 28th        
Ronnie Hillman 66 11.0 323 4.9 53.8 72 2 22nd        
Receiving REC YDS AVG YDS/G Long TD Rank          
James Jones 21 424 20.2 70.7 65 6 28th          
Emmanuel Sanders 38 527 13.9 87.8 75 3 T-14th          
Tackles Total Solo Rank                  
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (FS) 43 38 35th                  
Brandon Marshall (ILB) 48 38 T-23rd                  
Sacks Total Rank                    
Julius Peppers (OLB) 5.5 8th                    
DeMarcus Ware (OLB) 4.5 T-14th                    
Interceptions Total Rank                    
Quinten Rollins (CB) 2 T-11th                    
Aqib Talib (CB) 3 T-4th                    

*Stats via