For a game that was billed as a battle of two great quarterbacks, neither of them threw a touchdown as the Denver Broncos defense stole the show. Denver received touchdowns on the ground from C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman as the Broncos cruised to a 29-10 victory over the Green Bay Packers.
Coming into this game, this game was also billed as a showdown of two undefeated teams. But their undefeated starts were not created equal. The Broncos had gone to overtime against the Cleveland Browns, needed a last minute fumble return to top the Kansas City Chiefs, and all in all had outscored their opponents by a total of 37 points, one of the lowest marks for a 6-0 team in league history.
Aaron Rodgers had been playing as well as any quarterback in the league so far, while Peyton Manning had been struggling. But that script was flipped in this one. The Denver defense swarmed Rodgers all night long. Wade Phillips frequently brought blitzes that the Packers line could not pick up and the man coverage of the Denver secondary allowed the pressure to sack Rodgers three times and hurry him many more.
Denver jumped out to a 17-0 lead behind two touchdowns from Hillman in the first half and a 50-yard field goal by Brandon McManus. With some sense of urgency, the Packers got their lone touchdown on a 10-play, 80-yard drive capped of by an Eddie Lacy touchdown. At the end of the half it looked like they might have a chance to get the ball back, but they did not use their timeouts and didn't get a chance to put points on the board before half, much to the chagrin of Rodgers.
The Packers got the opening kickoff of the second half, and got a 56-yard field goal from Mason Crosby to pull within seven at 17-10. But that was as close as they would get.
On the ensuing drive, Anderson sprinted 28 yards up the middle on a third down after Clay Matthews had come out of the game with an injury. Matthews would return, but it put the Broncos up 24-10.
Denver tacked on another field goal to make it 27-10 and then got a safety after causing a Packers fumble deep in Packer territory, which Green Bay recovered in their end zone.
For the game, Green Bay produced a total of 140 yards, while the Broncos racked up 500. The Packers experienced more injuries in the secondary, having two more corners banged up in the game, allowing Manning to throw for a season high 340 yards.
With this loss, the Carolina Panthers are the last team in the NFC to be undefeated. Green Bay will go to Carolina next week in a showdown that figures to have playoff implications later on. Meanwhile, the Broncos keep pace with the Cincinnati Bengals and the New England Patriots, who are also undefeated at 7-0. Next Sunday they will travel to play Manning's old team, the Indianapolis Colts.