After back-to-back wins against division rivals to begin the season, the Packers remain at home for a week 3 matchup against the 0-2 Broncos. The Packers are 5-0-1 all-time against the Broncos at Lambeau Field, the last game of which was a 49-23 Packers victory back in 2011. Sunday’s game kicks off at 1:00 PM ET on FOX.
The Packers are coming off of a 21-16 win over the Vikings in week 2, where their defense continued to play well and make the big play late. Kevin King intercepted Kirk Cousins in the end zone with 5 minutes remaining and the Packers leading by 5 to essentially seal the Packers’ victory, just as Adrian Amos did with his interception in week 1. This Green Bay defense should not have much of a problem stopping the Broncos’ offense, but there are still matchups to keep an eye on.
Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton have been the only Denver receivers to record catches so far this season, combining for 27 catches and 344 yards in their first 2 games. With Joe Flacco at Quarterback, the Broncos just don’t seem to have the weapons capable of putting up big numbers through the air against a very good Packers secondary. In the backfield, Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman have been sharing the rushing workload, as Lindsay has 24 carries for 79 yards and Freeman has 21 carries for 110 yards. They are both capable of having solid games, but expect the Packers’ stout run defense to be able to contain them fairly easily.
As far as the Packers’ offense, they got off to a fast start last week but didn’t do much after the first quarter. They will be looking to put together their first complete game of the season offensively, as they also had struggles on that end against the Bears in week 1. Despite these two subpar offensive performances from the Packers so far, it may not be too much to be concerned about considering the defenses they have faced. The Vikings and Bears both ranked in the top 10 in total defense and passing defense last season, and the Bears ranked 1st in rushing defense as well. These have been 2 elite defenses that Green Bay has faced so far, and it has definitely not been easy trying to get the new offense going against them.
Now, the Packers face their first non-elite defense of the season, and they will be looking for more consistency and efficiency against a Broncos defense that ranked 13th in total defense, 21st in passing defense, and 21st in rushing defense last year. Despite this, the Broncos do have a couple of the best pass rushers in the NFL in Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, and their matchups against Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari are definitely ones to keep an eye on throughout the game.
Another big matchup to look at will be Davante Adams against Chris Harris. Harris is one of the better corners in the game and is definitely capable of slowing down Adams to an extent, so if that is the case, the Packers may need to rely on some of their other pass catchers a bit more than usual. Overall, the Broncos have a good amount of talent and potential on defense, but it is definitely a few notches below the defenses the Packers have faced so far, so look for Green Bay to make some strides offensively and move the ball a little easier.
As long as the Packers have a decent game offensively, they should be able to win this game. Denver has not yet recorded a sack in their first 2 games and has only forced 1 turnover, so as long as those trends keep up and the Packers don’t get in their own way, they should be able to put up enough points to win. Denver’s offense likely won’t be able to score more than 17-20 points against Green Bay’s defense, so it would take a poor offensive game from the Packers and probably some turnovers to lose this one. Expect the Packers to show improvement on offense and keep up their solid defense to win this game fairly easily.
Prediction: Packers 28, Broncos 13.