Broncos vs. Packers: 4 Things We Learned About Denver in 49-23 Loss
The Denver Broncos got an up-close look at what a championship-caliber team looks like, and have to feel like they are at least two years away from being near that caliber.
Even though the Las Vegas odds makers were right on when they predicted a double-digit loss, the Broncos did not want it to be this messy.
Tiny flashes of excitement in the passing game were dimmed by poor turnovers and a complete overpowering of the defense by the Packers offense. This was not the kind of losing effort that the Broncos can expect to build off of.
Champ Bailey's Hamstring Is Worse Than It Seems
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Yet another game-time decision keeps Champ Bailey out of the lineup against the Green Bay Packers. For weeks now, Bailey and the Broncos have been stringing along fans and opposing teams with the possibility of Champ actually playing.
Is the "will he or won't he" game really helping the Denver Broncos keep their opponents guessing? The Green Bay Packers didn't seem to care one way or another, but there aren't many things in the league that could make them do that anyway.
If Bailey could not make it onto the field against one of the strongest passing attacks that the Broncos will face all year, when will he actually be back?
It may not have made a huge impact on this game, but the health of Champ Bailey will certainly make a difference in how the season progresses and whether the Broncos need to be thinking about Champ's successor.
Von Miller Is Close to Erupting
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Another two sacks for Von Miller, and the confidence has to be growing for this budding defensive star.
This was a recurring theme for the Broncos on Sunday, but had this game been against most other teams in the NFL, Miller's sacks would have been crucial in the potential outcome of the game.
Sooner, rather than later Miller is going to become a lock to gather in at least one sack per game, and the speed that he is able to rush with makes it equally likely that he can cause a turnover in the process.
Somewhere down the line this season, Miller is going to turn a game around with a sack fumble at a time when the Broncos desperately need it.
Brandon Lloyd Can Still Stretch the Field
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
The Orton-to-Lloyd connection was reborn (kind of) in Green Bay. Broncos fans were excited early in the game to see Orton take some chances deep, and hit Brandon Lloyd for some big gains.
This could be slightly misleading though, considering that the Green Bay Packers achieved exactly what they intended by baiting Orton into taking some bad chances and being burned by Charles Woodson and James Shields.
Either way, against a less opportunistic defense that doesn't boast as many purely athletic players like the Green Bay defense, the Broncos will be able to stretch the field with Lloyd if they choose to do so.
Just a quick note to say that Lloyd can stretch the field, but Eric Decker is continuing to show that he can change the game. If the Broncos had been playing anyone but the Packers on Sunday, Decker's touchdowns could have been tide-turners.
Kyle Orton Is Not a Franchise Quarterback
Matt Ludtke/Getty Images
Before everyone goes crazy, this is not a sentiment to replace Orton with Tebow on a permanent basis.
After watching an entire game with Aaron Rodgers at the helm for the Green Bay Packers, it should be painfully obvious to Broncos fans what a franchise quarterback looks like and how it can affect a team.
For those who claim that Aaron Rodgers has significantly better talent surrounding him on offense than what Denver can offer, you are wrong. Aaron Rodgers could distribute the ball effectively with any group of wide receivers in the league, much like Tom Brady.
The evidence that Orton cannot do what Rodgers can do came early in the fourth quarter, when Brandon Lloyd made a great move and had a sure touchdown until he was under-thrown by Orton.
Rodgers would have made that pass. Denver needs someone who can make that pass.