There are still five undefeated teams through seven weeks of regular season play, but that number will drop to at least four as the Green Bay Packers pay the Denver Broncos a visit on Sunday Night Football. Both teams are coming off their bye week, sit at 6-0 on the year and have quarterbacks that have won multiple league MVP awards. The Broncos brandish one of the best defenses among all 32 teams and will be pitted against one of the most efficient offenses in the league. Despite being on the road, the point spread is currently favoring the Packers at -3.0 to stay perfect in Week 8.
Sunday Night Football: Green Bay Packers vs. Denver Broncos
Point Spread: Packers -3 Over/under: 45.5 Date: Sunday, November 1, 8:30pm ET Location:Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver, CO
Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ offense has struggled to maintain the efficiency we saw from them early in the season, and it may not get any better as they face a no. 1 ranked Denver defense that is allowing just 192 yards through the air. Coming off the bye week, the -3 favored Packers will likely get second-year receiver Davante Adams back as a deep threat, which should help open up the timing routes that Green Bay loves to use. If they can stretch the field and get help from running back Eddie Lacy, they could put up just enough points to outlast Denver’s anemic offense.
In Green Bay’s last game against the Chargers, the defense gave up 503 passing yards to Phillip Rivers. While Peyton Manning has yet to put up those numbers in a single game this year, he can still outsmart any defense at the line of scrimmage. The Packers will need to get push from their pass rush in order to flush the immobile Manning out of the pocket, where he’s been prone to inaccurate throws and interceptions this season. With the Broncos running game almost nonexistent, keeping Manning uncomfortable will be the key on defense.
The Broncos defense matches up well against the Packers high-powered offense, with a front seven that has managed a league-leading 26 sacks and nine interceptions on the season. They’ll want to pressure Rodgers up the middle and keep him from rolling out, where he’s frighteningly accurate downfield. Both DeMarcus Ware and Aqib Talib are battling injuries and their statuses are undetermined. The Denver defense will look very different in effectiveness should one or both of these players end up sitting this one out.
Once the highest scoring teams in NFL history in 2013, the Broncos are currently ranked 30th in the league, scoring just 23 points per game. With Manning no longer playing at a high level and an offensive line that has been downright offensive, the +3 underdog Broncos will need to get into a passing rhythm by dinking and dunking down the field. If they can stave off the Packer pass rush long enough, they can take advantage of an inconsistent Green Bay secondary. Without an efficient air attack, the Broncos could be dead in the water as they’re averaging just 85 yards per game on the ground. Exposing the Packers pass defense is the X-factor for Denver this week.
Sunday Night Football Prediction
One team will get it’s first loss of the season and it will come in a low-scoring defensive affair. While it’s hard to go to Mile High and take a win from Peyton Manning and the Broncos, Aaron Rodgers is just too good right now to be denied. He won’t put up big numbers against an incredible Denver defense, but he always seems to find just enough room to make one or two plays that put teams away in close games.
Check out the rest of Sports Interaction’s best picks against the spread for the Week 8 NFL games.