Broncos secondary shocked at their own success last night

AP

Sure, Peyton Manning looked more like Peyton Manning than he had in a while last night.

But it was the Broncos pass defense which stood out last night, putting the clamps on that other former MVP quarterback.

In holding Aaron Rodgers to just 77 passing yards (50 net if you count the lost sack yardage), the Broncos secondary made a huge statement, so it’s understandable they were excited.

We just held Aaron Rodgers to 50 yards!” cornerback Chris Harris told Peter King of TheMMQB.com. “AARON RODGERS! That’s a little shocking.”

Yes, perhaps.

But if you look closer at the work done by the Broncos secondary, perhaps not so much. Filled with players who can cover, they were able to keep Green Bay’s outside receivers covered, even longer than normal because they were counting on Rodgers’ elusiveness.

“The game plan was bring the heat, load the box, keep him in the pocket and force him to throw quick,” Harris said. “Wade [Phillips, the defensive coordinator] put it on us: If we let him go outside, that’s where he’s going to get us. . . .

“That’s right. We basically had to cover twice. That was the plan. First you cover your guy for two-and-a-half seconds. Then you don’t stop. You figure Rodgers is getting out on the edge, scrambling around looking for a receiver after he leaves the pocket. And we were able to hang in there. I think when you hold Aaron Rodgers to 50 yards, you know you’re capable of being great as a defense.”

The Broncos are more than capable of being one. They are one. Probably the best one in the league.

Actually, after last night, you can probably take the probably out of that last sentence.

40 responses to “Broncos secondary shocked at their own success last night

  1. Hell of a defensive effort. Coming from a Packers fan. Defense plays like that and it doesn’t matter how bad the offense is. Gotta tip my cap

  2. It isn’t just the Denver defense that has held Rodgers in check this year.

    Rodgers, even before last night’s debacle, has been off his game. His yards per game was under 250 BEFORE the Denver game – worse than his YPG in his 1st year as a starter in ’08.

    Is Rodgers getting old? I get it that he’s lost Jordy Nelson, but there are a lot of teams that have lost their #1 WR this year.

    Denver’s allowed 172 YPG passing this season (including Rodger’s 77 from last night).

    Teddy Bridgewater managed to get 269 yards against Denver in comparison – just sayin’…

    I’m not saying that Teddy is better than AR, yet. But Teddy is right on AR’s heals (stat wise – ranked 22nd and 23rd currently) this season.

  3. Rodgers is in a conservative system that takes no chances and only throws to guys when they are wide open. When you’ve had uber-talented receivers over the years you can pull this off brilliantly. But this season the talent level justisn’t there, so if you can cover the receivers just enough, than Rodgers won’t throw it and if u have a strong pass rush to get in his face to boot, you will shut him down easily.

    Rodgers will take a sack before risking an interception, that’s just the nature of the system but that also means there’s no chance to win.

  4. The wide receivers are pedestrian, there’s no tight end, and the quarterback has been no better than average on the road since last year. This is a great defense, so why be shocked?

  5. So Bronco fans. Who was tougher? The Packers or Vikings? Thumbs up for Vikings…down for da Pack

  6. But, but, but I thought it was going to be the unbeatable Rogers vs the unbeatable Brady in the SB.

    Two teams whose opponents were a combined 45-58 and only near that good because GB got blown up by a 7-0 team.

    Pats and GB fans are the least knowledgeable in all of football.

    Embarrassing.

    Defense wins.

  7. Despite Green Bay’s near perfect win total this year, their offense is devoid of playmakers. One WR to worry about. A TE that is rarely a factor. A RB that has not lived up to preseason hype. And let’s not forget Rodgers is a little bit selfish because he’ll rarely throw a risky pass that might mess up his stat line. There is a reason Rodgers has so few come-from-behind victories on his resume. Look it up.

  8. What a win as a pats fan I haven’t been worried about any team in the AFC untill the performance I just saw. That Broncos team was fierce last night the whole team played lights out. The only question I have is will that be enough to beat the patriots? Brady gets the ball out faster than any QB and they said they wanted to keep Rodgers throwing quick and that’s what Brady does on any normal day. All I know is I just got a lot more excited for when the patriots head to Denver

  9. The Denver defense looked pretty stout. The Pats/Broncos game is going to be must see.

    I think Brady will still get his shots though since Gronk will tie up Talib with support from the FS, and LaFell is gonna go fade to drag someone down the field on man coverage to leave the others getting open. If Denver LB’s stay patient they should be able to track mighty mouse Lewis in the mix – but over aggression will have them missing tackles on him.

    I think if Peyton doesn’t turn the ball over and plays well enough to not lose the game the Broncos win it, but if the Pats can win the field position game and TOP by a large margin they win it.

    Man I wish this game was this week!

  10. Denver played great… the Packers did not. They didn’t block or tackle well. They didn’t beat coverage. Hats off to Denver, they clearly made the most out of their bye week.

  11. Every time a team dominates another team it is often said “the Packers didn’t play well”. Oh, you think? I know that the quality of the Bronco defense had nothing to do with it. The Packers just didn’t play well. They didn’t “play well” because the Bronco’s just dominated them in every phase of the game holding Aaron Rodgers to 50 net yards passing. The packers didn’t “play well” because the Broncos would not let them play well.

  12. The common denominator here in my mind is Kubiak. Take a guy like that last year from the Ravens and they go 2-6. Now the Broncos are 7-0. Crazy to think the Ravens almost beat them on that last drive on week 1, they’ve certainly improved by then.

  13. I traveled to the game last night from Milwaukee and I have to say I have never been more impressed with a gracious, hospitable, and diplomatic group of fans in my life. It could’ve been bad, and deservedly so, but they were great. Class act.

  14. John Elway has done a remarkable job of putting this franchise back together. He didn’t do it all by himself, but he’s hired guys like Tom Heckert who are grinding away at tape around the clock. Old school guys who know how to scout.

  15. I’ll weigh in on this Vikings/Packers debate as a Broncos fan. Packers are the better team now BUT the Vikings are on the rise and may even catch them this year with a few breaks. The Broncos offense was a mess in that Vikings game and still the Broncos were ready to blow that game open at the end of the half before Manning threw a horrible int. Denver’s offense is getting better and the Broncos are a better team now than what they were even a month ago. The NFC North title will come down to the 2 games between the Packers/Vikes so there will be no excuses from either side at the end of the year.

  16. Rodgers was running for his life last night, and he looked like it. Even if Green Bay had Jordy I don’t think the Packers could have done much with Aaron as uncomfortable as Denver made him. The Broncos looked amazing last night, and the Packers did not look good. That was a very disappointing game for us Packer fans.

  17. (I will disclose that I am a Patriots fan)

    That Denver defense scares the crap out of me. Brady better watch out when they play Denver in a few weeks because his O line is ALL BANGED UP and having problems protecting him from much lesser defenses.

    Manning may have slipped a ton from his prime, but that D alone makes them title contenders.

  18. I’m not crazy shocked. Without Jordy this packers offense has become really short to mid pass oriented. Given that the Broncos defense is probably one of the best we’ve seen in several years. This could be an every week thing. Also, any offense they go against with a bad o-line. Forget it. That kind of pass rush. HA. With those corners? In wade phillips blitz happy 0 coverage defense. I mean you almost couldn’t put together a better defense for wade phillips.

  19. I couldn’t be more depressed. This was a big game. Our little villagers went up the mountain and got thrown off. Decapitated. Embarrassed. Even Al Michaels said ‘beat down’ and ‘dismantled’. I used to like him. Now I hate him. Even though he’s right. Very right. At least he didn’t call us chokers. Which also would’ve been, ya know, right. OK, I’m gonna go crawl back into the bottle.

  20. Look at the Vikings fans out in droves on asking “who played tougher” . Because the Broncos gave them a win their fan base was SO thirsty for.

    If you are going to do that maybe also ask the 9ers too who was tougher while you’re at it.

  21. Hey, I could tell the Packers were trying really hard. And what more can you ask for?

    Here’s this

    Vikes vs Broncs
    Bridgewater 27/41 for 269y 1 TD
    Manning 17/27 for 213y 1TD 2INT

    GB vs Broncs
    Rodgers 14/22 for 77y 0TD
    Manning 21/29 for 340y 0TD 1 INT

  22. This is the first game where it really appeared that the Pack misses Jordy. Jones runs good routes, but is slow; Cobb is fast/quick and runs good routes, but is a focus of defenses; and the other WRs need to run sharper routes (which likely will come with experience). With a front 7 like the Broncos, if receivers aren’t open right away, it’s tough to pass. I’d like to say the Pack sucks, but really Denver was clicking in all phases.

  23. I’m not a delusional fan who thinks the Vikings are better than the Packers right now, but it’s clear that the two teams are a lot closer than any Packer fan thought (just basing this on the ridiculous comments they make about the Vikings being the worst team in the NFL and the Packers were going to destroy the Broncos). We’ll see in three weeks which team is better.

  24. I thought Matt Cassel’s 97 yds passing was a terrible performance. Then I saw Rodgers play.

  25. I’ll weigh in on this Vikings/Packers debate as a Broncos fan. Packers are the better team now BUT the Vikings are on the rise and may even catch them this year with a few breaks. The Broncos offense was a mess in that Vikings game and still the Broncos were ready to blow that game open at the end of the half before Manning threw a horrible int. Denver’s offense is getting better and the Broncos are a better team now than what they were even a month ago. The NFC North title will come down to the 2 games between the Packers/Vikes so there will be no excuses from either side at the end of the year.
    _________________________________________

    Good comments, BUT, the Vikings got pressure on Manning most of the game sacking Manning twice and getting multiple hits on him, the Packers didn’t sniff Manning all night. Vikings WR/TE corps. is better, RBs are better, and the whole defensive side of the football the Vikings are better.

  26. As a Pats fan not familiar with GB or the Broncos D very much, I was shocked by the beatdown the Pack took last night. Clearly Rogers was getting swarmed by the Bronco D-line, and he was also having trouble finding open receivers. But, we all knew the Broncos defense was great.

    The more shocking thing was how the Denver offense produced against a top defense. Peyton still has the accuracy, but the velocity isn’t there as much. How were the Bronco receivers able to get consistently so open? I heard the Packers were down 2 corners, the #1 and #3. Is that true?

    The Pats have improved their run defense and pass rush, while the defensive backfield has shown the ability to at least be competitive. I wonder if that combination of factors, along with Payton’s lack of velocity, will be enough to keep the clamps on the Denver offense?

  27. Packers won’t play that bad again all year. But it wasn’t all that surprising. Two playoff teams, and the Packers crumbling against a good defense. It’s what happens every year. It’s just that the Packers usually wait until January.

  28. Rodgers looked like he was doing a Christian Ponder imitation last night.

    Only he didn’t play as well as Ponder… 😀

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