Packers vs. Broncos: First Impressions
1. After two quarters, the rout finally took shape. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers had a big day, made precision throws for 408 yards and six touchdowns (four passing and two rushing). He spread the ball around to his receivers turning an early back-and-forth 28-17 half-time lead into a second-half runaway and 49-23 Packers victory. The Green Bay Packers remain undefeated at 4-0, keeping pace with the undefeated Detroit Lions.
2. The Packers offense was unstoppable, finishing with 26 first downs, 507 net yards, and scored five touchdowns in six trips to the red zone. The Packers receivers had a field day against the Denver Broncos secondary: Greg Jennings (103 yards and one touchdown), Jordy Nelson (91 yards and one touchdown), Randall Cobb (75 yards), James Jones (48 yards and one touchdown), and Donald Driver (20 yards and one touchdown).
3. The aggressive offensive game plan remained fairly balanced. The rushing game totaled 111 yards, averaging 4.0 yards per carry. Running back James Starks had 13 carries for a respectable 63 yards. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers had nine carries (eight scrambles) for 36 yards and two touchdowns.
4. Right tackle Marshall Newhouse struggled against speedy outside linebacker Von Miller, giving up two sacks. Yet, he played a decent game overall, subbing for Bryan Bulaga.
5. In the first half, the defense looked average, giving up 17 points, but the second half saw a stronger overall performance. In the first half, cornerback Charles Woodson had a big 30-yard interception return for a touchdown. In the second half, cornerback Sam Shields had a great 60-yard return on an interception. He still needs to improve his tackling, however.
6. Although the defense had three interceptions, they struggled against the run, tackling, and putting pressure on Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton. The Packers allowed 384 yards and a whopping 6.9 yards per play. The inconsistent pass rush was apparent, with linebacker Desmond Bishop getting the lone sack. Neither outside linebacker applied a consistent pass rush. The Packers may want to consider playing outside linebacker Vic So’oto on passing downs.
7. Late in the first quarter, kicker Mason Crosby’s onside kick was a perfectly executed, with wide receiver Jordy Nelson recovering it easily against a sleeping Denver Broncos special teams unit.
8. While the Packers held quarterback Kyle Orton to 273 passing yards, he still threw three touchdowns. Safety Morgan Burnett had a tough game, giving up a 33-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Eric Decker and biting on the flea flicker that netted 44 yards to Brandon Lloyd.
9. The Packers rushing defense had a bad day, allowing the Broncos to run for 119 yards and 5.2 yards per carry. Willis McGahee had 13 carries for 103 yards.