(CBS4) – The Denver Broncos will look to make history on Sunday at 11 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time. With a win against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, the Broncos would get their first win at the historic stadium and capture their 500th win in franchise history.
Here are four things to watch for in Sunday’s matchup.
Slow Down Aaron Rodgers
This is might be easier said than done. Stopping Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is one of the toughest tasks in the NFL. The two-time MVP has done a terrific job of protecting the football (throwing 27 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions last season). Rodgers also does a great job of evading pass rushers and extending plays. The only knock on the Packers aerial attack is that Green Bay has given up seven sacks, which is the fifth-most in the NFL. The Broncos should look to get Rodgers to the ground often.
Don’t Let The Smith Brothers Beat You
No, these guys aren’t relatives, but the Packers outside linebacker combination of Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith has created havoc on offensives. Both have combined for 2.5 sacks, 16 tackles, eight quarterback hits and an interception on the year. Za’Darius is tied for second on the team with nine tackles and one sack. Preston is tied for the team lead in sacks with 1.5, and he intercepted Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins last week.
Broncos tackles Garett Bolles and Elijah Wilkinson will need to keep both Smith brothers off Joe Flacco this week.
Execute In The Red Zone
Against the Bears, the Broncos offense had 27 first downs, which is the most in a single game for the Broncos since 2014. After the first two games, Denver is averaging the 5th most yards per drive (42 yards per drive). The issue is with the red zone offense. The Broncos have made it inside the opponents’ 20-yard line seven times and have only come away with two touchdowns. This is one of the biggest reasons why Denver is averaging 15 points per game, which is the fourth worst in the league.
Protect The Football
Joe Flacco will need to take special care of the football against an opportunistic Packers defense. Green Bay has forced an NFL-high 5 takeaways.
Scoring will also be at a premium as the Packers have given up 9.5 points per game, which is the second-best in football. The Broncos will need to put points on the board, as they haven’t scored more than 20 points in the last six games. Coincidentally, Denver has lost the last six games.