In a battle of first-year head coaches and Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks, the Green Bay Packers beat the visiting Denver Broncos 27-16 on Sunday.
The Packers improved to 3-0 under coach Matt LaFleur as Aaron Rodgers threw for 235 yards and one touchdown. The Broncos fell to 0-3 under Vic Fangio. Joe Flacco threw for 213 yards but tossed one interception and was sacked six times.
The Broncos moved the ball up and down the field in their first two games, and Sunday was no different as they controlled the ball for more than 35 minutes and ran 21 more plays. Six of their first nine possessions reached Green Bay’s side of the field.
Their final possession in Green Bay territory came late in the fourth quarter, with the Broncos trailing by 11 and desperately needing points. On first down from the 44, Green Bay rookie outside linebacker Rashan Gary sacked Flacco. On second down, cornerback Jaire Alexander broke up a pass. On fourth down, outside linebacker Preston Smith recorded his third sack of the game.
After giving up a pair of 15-play scoring drives, the Packers’ defense made the game’s two biggest plays to turn a 10-10 tie into a two-touchdown lead. Nearing the two-minute warning before halftime, Smith recorded a sack and strip of Flacco, with Gary recovering at the 5. On second down from the 7, Aaron Jones blasted up the middle for a touchdown.
On the third play of the second half, Flacco converted a third-and-2 with a completion to tight end Noah Fant, but Alexander ripped the ball loose and recovered at the Broncos’ 37. After a 27-yard completion to fullback Danny Vitale to the 1, Jones broke a tackle and outran the defense to the corner for the score.
Denver answered with its third long scoring drive of the day, going 75 yards in 12 plays for a touchdown. On fourth-and-goal at the 1, Denver running back Phillip Lindsay broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and used all of his 190 pounds to fight his way into the end zone. A 36-yard catch-and-run by Lindsay was the big play. However, kicker Brandon McManus hit the upright on the extra point, leaving Denver down 24-16.
In the first quarter, the Packers wasted no time taking the lead, with Rodgers drawing Von Miller offside and hitting Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 40-yard touchdown. The Broncos tied the score when Lindsay scored from the 1 to cap a 15-play, 77-yard drive. McManus tied the score at 10 with a 30-yard field goal to cap another 15-play drive.
—Field Level Media