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Ten things Packers have to do to beat Broncos


Take a break from sweating the little things and allow yourself the luxury of feeling the joy that comes with having a franchise quarterback.

About half of the teams in the league can say they have one and can proceed without a quarterback controversy surfacing at some point in their season. Have you forgotten what the flip side is like? Nothing beats peace and tranquility at the quarterback position.

Consider the one glaring difference between the Packers and their opponent this week, the Denver Broncos: the Packers have a quarterback that is the unchallenged leader of the team; Broncos fans are buying billboard space to campaign for the third-string guy.

Nothing will divide a team and its fan base as a quarterback controversy will. At some point, the coach has to pick and stick, and that's when it can start to get real noisy in the stands and in the media.

John Fox, the Broncos' first-year head coach, is having to deal with the noise in Denver. Fortunately, Fox is experienced in these matters. He had a quarterback controversy in Carolina when he took over there. He picked Jake Delhomme and stuck with him and Delhomme took the Panthers to the Super Bowl.

In Denver, Fox has picked Kyle Orton to be the team's starter, despite the fan base's clamoring for the charismatic Tim Tebow, Josh McDaniels' surprise first-round pick in 2010. It was said that's the kind of pick that gets a coach fired. McDaniels didn't make it through the season.

That's how volatile the quarterback position can be but, hey, you know that from just a few years ago, right? Think back to what it was like. Now listen to the silence. Peace is nice, isn't it?

Here are 10 things the Packers have to do to beat the Broncos:

1. Block Von Miller—The second overall pick of this year's draft is a big-time pass-rusher and play-maker. Aaron Rodgers must be kept upright and safe.

2. Go to a higher level—The Packers have been showing signs of dominance, but need to eliminate the drive-stalling penalties and red-zone failures.

3. Beware of Orton—He's underrated. When he gets hot, he can become a problem.

4. Start fast—Fox likes to run the ball and shorten the game. He can't do that if he falls behind.

5. Spread it around—It'll keep the Broncos and future opponents from keying on one guy.

6. Give it to Starks—He'll want to erase the memory of last week.

7. Swarm on special teams—Eric Decker has a 90-yard punt-return for a touchdown.

8. Play to the crowd—The energy in Lambeau Field on Sunday should lift the Packers to victory.

9. Feel a sense of urgency—The Broncos aren't an NFC opponent and might not make your heart beat faster, but you don't wanna go to Atlanta next week coming off a loss.

10. Beware of gadgets—Tebow adds that dimension. Additional coverage - Sept. 29

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