Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Sports

Broncos take battle of unbeatens

DENVER — In only the fourth meeting of teams 6-0 or better, Peyton Manning tied Brett Favre's NFL record with his 186th regular-season win and Denver's defense rattled Aaron Rodgers into one of the worst games of his career in the Broncos' 29-10 victory over the Packers on Sunday night.

Wearing the blue jerseys they did in beating the Packers for their first Super Bowl win in 1997, the Broncos piled it on in the fourth quarter, when defensive end DeMarcus Ware sacked Rodgers and the ball ended up in the end zone for a safety.

The Broncos improved to 7-0 for the first time since 1998, when they won the Super Bowl after finishing 14-2.

Rodgers of 14 of 22 for just 77 yards for the Packers — the lowest of his career in a game where he wasn't knocked out by injury. Rodgers was sacked three times and the Packers had just 140 yards of offense to Denver's 500.

Though neither quarterback threw for a touchdown, Manning threw for 340 yards on 21 of 29 passing.

Any more questions about the Broncos' worthiness as a contender or even an unbeaten?

Hillman ran for two touchdowns and when he was on the sideline with a sore thigh, Anderson ran through a defense missing Clay Matthews for a 28-yard score, his first of the season, to put Denver up by two touchdowns late in the third quarter.

Both Matthews and Hillman returned the next series.

Anderson ran for 101 yards and Hillman 60, and Demaryius Thomas caught eight passes for 168 yards.

Also making a sudden appearance in Denver's offense were the tight ends — as targets. Freed up from blocking with the offensive line meshing like it hadn't all season.

Virgil Green caught three passes for 61 yards and Owen Daniels had three for 44.

At halftime, the Broncos inducted ailing owner Pat Bowlen into their ring of fame. Bowlen, 71, stepped down from his daily duties running the team 15 months ago to fight Alzheimer's and did not attend.

"I am so honored to accept this honor for my husband," said Bowlen's wife, Annabel. "… I think we can all agree that Pat's next stop should be the Pro Football Hall of Fame."

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