Why They Lost: Green Bay Gets Demolished In Denver

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Nov 1, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) is sacked by Denver Broncos outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (94) during the second half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 29-10. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Cracking Under Pressure

This is what a pass rush looks like.

As bad as the Packers tended to be with their pass rush on Sunday night, Denver was on top of their game with theirs.

Coming in, the Broncos managed to pressure opposing offenses on 35% of snaps (league-best rate). On Sunday they almost doubled that, pressuring Aaron Rodgers on 63% of his dropbacks.


That is insane, plain and simple.

It’s the highest rate of pressure in the last 7 seasons of play for Aaron Rodgers; for context, the Fail Mary game where he was sacked 8 times in one half by Seattle ended at around a 53% pressure rate.

All this pressure combined with the excellent coverage of their secondary helped to force Aaron Rodgers into his worst day as a pro:

– 77 yards passing (lowest total for a game he started and finished)
– 140 total yards of offense
– 3.5 yards-per-attempt (lowest of career for a game)
– 1.9 yards-per-attempt against the blitz (way below his 9.5 ypa against the blitz on the season; 3rd-best rate in the league)

It’s tough to say what Green Bay specifically can do to fix this; it isn’t just one area that failed which caused this, but many aspects negatively affecting the team at the same time.

Rodgers couldn’t find anything resembling a Packers receiver all game, but they were blanketed. The receivers were blanketed handily all game and couldn’t fight their way open all night, but the team did nothing to make adjustments to get them open (or the attempted adjustments were entirely ineffective). The offensive line has been nowhere near as effective as last season even with all those guys currently playing, but they had plenty of times where they held blocks well longer than should be necessary and the passing game just had nothing to offer.

And of course, that defense needs to be given some good level of credit for playing an excellent game.

Green Bay better have their defense sit in with the offense to watch film on that Broncos’ unit. If they want to ever actually get themselves to that level of dominance instead of just pumping up their numbers to appear to be there on paper, they should take some notes.