It wasn't exactly Super Bowl hype, but a matchup of unbeaten teams had a certain excitement surrounding it, especially for a Week 8 NFL game.
However, only one team looked like an undefeated team, and unfortunately for the Green Bay Packers it wasn't them, as the Broncos steamrolled to a 29-10 win in Denver.
The Packers were beaten in nearly every phase of the game. Denver's defense had Aaron Rodgers on the run all game while blanketing Green Bay receivers. Meanwhile, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning efficiently carved up the Packers defense and Denver's run game found room to run -- not to mention the end zone three times.
All in all, it was a game to forget for the Packers and their faithful.
Here's a recap of Sunday's game:
-- As we noted in our countdown, Denver's cornerbacks were tough and it might be a good idea for the Packers to throw underneath routes to tight ends and/or running backs. As it turned out, Rodgers only attempted a couple of deeper passes due to Denver's coverage, and tight ends and running backs accounted for six of Rodgers' 14 completions.
-- Denver entered the game leading the NFL in sacks and got Rodgers three times but also had the QB constantly under pressure, forcing him to oftentimes throw errant passes. The Packers entered second in the league in sacks, but never got Manning and it's hard to remember an instance when the Broncos QB was truly pressured.
-- Denver appeared to take a page out of San Diego's playbook. Just two weeks after San Diego's Philip Rivers torched the Packers defense for 503 yards, many on crossing routes, the Manning threw for 340 yards, many of which came on crossing routes.
-- Davante Adams played for the first time since being injured in the Sept. 28 game against Kansas City. Despite playing in all but two offensive snaps Adams was targeted just twice, hauling in just one catch for eight yards.
-- In the fourth quarter, Jared Abbrederis decided to take a kickoff deep out of the end zone and only made it to the 13-yard line. On the following play from scrimmage Rodgers lost the ball, which went into the end zone for an eventual Broncos safety. Was Abbrederis trying to do too much or was he told to bring it out no matter how deep? Either way, a bad decision cost Green Bay.
-- Green Bay was held to 140 yards of total offense, its worst output since Nov. 28, 2013 when the Packers put up 126 yards against Detroit. However, Matt Flynn was the quarterback in that game. The only time Green Bay has had fewer yards in a game in which Aaron Rodgers played was a 120-yard performance against New England on Nov. 19, 2006, although both Rodgers and Brett Favre played in that one. Twice in 2008 Green Bay had fewer than 200 total yards, but never 140.
-- Rodgers' 77 yards passing (counting sacks, Green Bay had a net 50 yards passing) was easily the worst of his career in any game in which he played the majority of the time.
-- Denver had not scored in the first quarter all season, while Green Bay had allowed just nine points in first quarter play. The Broncos got a touchdown from Ronnie Hillman roughly 11 minutes into the game.
-- After being limited to four carries against San Diego, Eddie Lacy got the ball on Green Bay's first two plays from scrimmage. He ended with 11 of the Packers' 21 rushes, while scoring his first touchdown since the season opener against the Bears.
-- Cornerbacks Sam Shields and Quinten Rollins both suffered shoulder injuries in the first quarter and neither returned, leaving Green Bay with three CBs for the majority of the game.
-- If the game had ended up being close, Green Bay wouldn't have been doing itself any favors, as it called two timeouts in the third quarter.
WHAT IT MEANT
Losing on the road to an unbeaten team certainly isn't the end of the world, and Green Bay isn't going to see too many defenses like Denver's again. However, a second straight big passing game by an opposing quarterback -- and often on crossing routes -- is a bad trend which needs to be cleaned up.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
In a game like this, where the offense didn't do much of anything and the defense gave up 500 yards, it is no easy task to name a top player. However, we'll go with inside linebacker Clay Matthews, who had seven tackles, two quarterback hurries and a tackle for loss. Also, his loss showed as well.
DON'T FORGET ABOUT ME
Like we were saying, it was one of those games, but let's not forget kicker Mason Crosby effortlessly booting a 56-yard field goal like it was an extra point.
With Green Bay down 17-10 in the third quarter, Matthews had to leave the game briefly with an injury. With Matthews on the sideline, Joe Thomas took the spot at inside linebacker and was caught in a block as Denver's C.J. Anderson ran for a 28-yard touchdown, which essentially put the game out of reach. Matthews missed only four plays in the game, but they were a big four.
17 -- yards for Green Bay's longest play of the game, done twice: on an Aaron Rodgers run and a pass to Randall Cobb. Denver had 10 plays of 18+ yards.
THEY SAID IT
"That's a humbling loss. I haven't had my ass kicked like that in a long time." -- Mike McCarthy
"The biggest test we had thus far this season and 50 yards passing, we got an A-plus on that test." -- Denver cornerback Aqib Talib on facing Aaron Rodgers
"I think tonight is more about what we didn't do. We didn't execute in the run game, we didn't execute in the pass game, didn't convert third downs and that's why we got beat." -- Rodgers
Things don't get any easier for the Packers, which might be playing another undefeated team next week. Green Bay travels to Carolina, which is 6-0 heading into Monday night's game against Indianapolis. Either way, it will be a matchup of two powerhouse teams next Sunday at noon.