Packers top Broncos 27-16, Improve to 3-0

 

Another week, another win for Green Bay. The Packers (3-0, 2-0 NFC North) topped the Denver Broncos (0-3, 0-1 AFC West) 27-16 in what was a rainy matchup Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field.

The Packers never trailed Sunday, but there were certainly moments that they were a tad sluggish. Despite some offensive miscues and a couple of uncharacteristic drives from the defense, the Packers were still able to pull out another win.

 3-0 overall and 2-0 in their division? Not a bad place to be.  

The defense proved their potential again Sunday, forcing a combined two fumbles, six sacks, and one interception. The offensive line also performed well, only allowing one hit on quarterback Aaron Rodgers and never giving up a sack.

“One of the cleanest games my jersey has ever looked,” Rodgers said in his post-game interview. “A credit to the offensive line. Really appreciate the offensive line for the way they protected today.”

Rodgers finished the day 17/29 for 235 yards and a touchdown (ESPN stats).

The offensive came out synched and swinging on their first drive again this week. In vintage form, Rodgers drew a free play, and found wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the endzone for a 40-yard touchdown to put the Packers up 7-0. The defense followed suit on their first drive as well, forcing a quick three and out.

It looked like things were only going up for the Packers, but that was not necessarily the case. The Broncos responded with a monster scoring drive, consisting of 15 plays that covered 77 yards and took 8:35 off the clock to tie the game at 7. The offense also struggled to find a consistent rhythm for almost the rest of the half, but they can thank linebacker Preston Smith for forcing a fumble at Denver’s 11-yard line that was recovered by rookie linebacker Rashan Gary with about 2 minutes left in the half. From there, running back Aaron Jones was able to run it in for a touchdown to put the Packers up 17-10 at the half.

The second half, all eyes were on the defense. Corner Jaire Alexander has been hungry to make a big play this season and he finally got his moment Sunday. On Denver’s first offensive drive of the half he ripped the ball right out of Broncos’ tight end Noah Fant’s hands and forced a fumble at Denver’s 37-yard line. The Packers took advantage of another Broncos’ turnover, going up 24-10, off yet another Aaron Jones rushing touchdown.

Denver then put together another monster drive similar to the one they scored off of in the first half, consisting of 12 plays covering 75 yards and taking 6:10 off the clock to cut the score to 24-16.

The Packers defense dominated the rest of the game, with rookie Darnell Savage picking up his first career interception off a spectacular diving play, rookie linebacker Gary picking up his first career sack, and veteran linebacker Za’Darius Smith closing the game out with his second sack of the day.

With some ups and downs on both offense and defense, but another W in the win column for the Packers, there was plenty that we could take away.

 

What we learned: Brian Gutekunst is a bad man

We all already knew that Packers GM Brian Gutekunst was a smart dude, but Sunday’s win proved it even further. Gute was busy this offseason bringing in guys like Adrian Amos, and Za’Darius and Preston Smith, but let’s not forget the Packers two first round draft picks in Gary and Savage that are already making an impact early in their careers.

In Sunday’s win, Preston Smith had 5 tackles and 3 sacks, Za’Darius Smith had 3 tackles, 3 QB hits, and 2 sacks, Darnell Savage had 5 tackles and his first career interception, and Rashan Gary had 5 tackles, his first career sack, and a fumble recovery (ESPN stats).

In Gute we trust? In Gute we trust.

 

What went right: Taking advantage of turnovers

Typically, when the Packers force turnovers, their offense never seems to do much with it, but Sunday was a bit of a different story. The Packers were able to put up 14 points after their defense forced turnovers and it was refreshing to see.

As they move into a short week this week, those kinds of plays will be crucial to take advantage of, so hopefully the trend only continues.

 

What went wrong: Offense in the third quarter

Besides the gifted touchdown after Jaire Alexander forced a fumble in the third quarter, the offense was literally non-existent in the third quarter. Trust me, everyone in Lambeau was getting their snacks and taking their bathroom break during the third quarter because it was just… well, not great.

There was a drive in the third quarter where Rodgers literally threw the ball into the turf twice in a row. It was strange and uneventful and if the Packers want to beat the Eagles this Thursday they cannot manage to have a quarter like that again.

 

Offensive Standout: Jamaal Williams

Although Jones was the one with both rushing touchdowns Sunday, it was running back Jamaal Williams who carried a bulk of the rushing yards throughout the game. The speedster looked electric, in what in my opinion, was his best game so far this season. I will be the first to admit I was nervous when LaFleur said he wanted to split touches between Williams and Jones more, but if Williams is going to perform as well as he did today, then I may just be okay with it.

Williams finished the day with 12 carries for 59 yards and also made a significant impact in the passing game with 2 receptions for 27 yards (ESPN stats).

 

Defensive Standouts: Jaire Alexander, Smith^2

All week Jaire Alexander had been hyping himself and this newly impressive Packers’ D up, and he certainly delivered Sunday. Besides his ridiculously impressive forced fumble in the third quarter, he also finished the day with 7 tackles and 2 pass deflections (ESPN stats). 

“I cannot say enough about Jaire and the energy and effort he plays with each and every game,” head coach Matt LaFleur said in his post-game interview. “It's contagious. I think everybody really feeds off of his energy. It's awesome when you stress something and he makes it come to life."

I have already talked about both Preston and Za’Darius Smith so much in this piece, but they were once again, absolutely two defensive standouts this game. I am running out of compliments to give these two, so for now I will just keep it short and simple.

I am so damn glad those two guys are Green Bay Packers.

Up next, the Packers and Eagles face off at Lambeau Field for Thursday night football. Kickoff is set for 8:20 PM EST.

Sarah Kelliher is a contributor for CheeseheadTV. She can be found via Twitter @sarahkelliher4

 

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Comments (48)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Samson's picture

September 22, 2019 at 05:22 pm

Only the naysayers & the trolls will attempt to defray from GB's 3-0 start.... The season''s a long one, but so far I'm impressed & not really surprised. --- Some of the crow eaters (OS) need to finally admit their ignorance or their trollness... I'd welcome any of them back into the Packer Family.

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Bizarro's picture

September 22, 2019 at 05:26 pm

This is a very very dismissive and weak take. There is MUCH to take away from a 3-0 start. The defense is for real. The offense is not. Miles to go. There is nothing troll-worthy about pointing out the exact same offensive issues that plagued these Packers for 2-plus years. There is absolutely nothing troll-worthy for calling out the drops, penalties, and A-Rod. Nothing.

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Samson's picture

September 22, 2019 at 05:34 pm

Don't care what you think either... You've always been a troll.

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Leatherhead's picture

September 22, 2019 at 07:27 pm

I'm still trying to figure out what "attempt to defray" means.

The defense is good, but they've shown they can have trouble getting off the field. They're getting takeaways but you can't always count on that. But as long as we enjoy good health this defense should have us in every game.

Offensively, I like the fact that we scored enough points to win, didn't turn the ball over, and Rodgers didn't take any punishment. That means he can practice with the team, which might be helpful.

Many a game has been won the Old School way: Protect the ball, play defense, and don't hurt yourself with special teams errors. We don't always need big stats. 17 points would have been enough today....we got 27.

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Samson's picture

September 22, 2019 at 05:23 pm

??

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Samson's picture

September 22, 2019 at 05:25 pm

What??

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Packer_Fan's picture

September 22, 2019 at 05:23 pm

I was able only to listen to the game. But it seemed as the offense made errors with 1st and long or 2nd and long and then were not able to get first downs. We need the offense to make up some of that yardage on 1st and second downs to make third down easier to get.

And it seemed that Rodgers was not throwing on rhythm. Gotta keep working on those things.

Otherwise 3-0 is a great start. But it could go 3-3 if they don't figure out how to get the offense going.

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Packer_Fan's picture

September 22, 2019 at 05:23 pm

I was able only to listen to the game. But it seemed as the offense made errors with 1st and long or 2nd and long and then were not able to get first downs. We need the offense to make up some of that yardage on 1st and second downs to make third down easier to get.

And it seemed that Rodgers was not throwing on rhythm. Gotta keep working on those things.

Otherwise 3-0 is a great start. But it could go 3-3 if they don't figure out how to get the offense going.

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Igotthisround's picture

September 22, 2019 at 05:39 pm

OK time to call the IT guy.

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alex's picture

September 22, 2019 at 06:41 pm

:)

Need a way to prevent multiple submissions.

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Igotthisround's picture

September 22, 2019 at 09:30 pm

This app is crap. C'mon guys! Waaaaay past time to fix it.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 22, 2019 at 10:07 pm

There's actually a trivial programming solution for duplicate submissions.

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Igotthisround's picture

September 22, 2019 at 10:18 pm

Hey JJ might be time to offer your consulting services! For a nominal fee of course ...

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stockholder's picture

September 22, 2019 at 05:39 pm

Great Game. The secondary was Awesome. The draft picks paid off.

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Oppy's picture

September 22, 2019 at 05:45 pm

I heard Nagler and Behnke on Transplants the other night talking about how lightning fast the new site is.

I'm browsing on an older computer, so maybe it's just me, but does anyone else find the new site to be sluggish and much slower to respond than the old build?

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 22, 2019 at 09:29 pm

It's not more responsive. And the serious user experience issues make it a big net loss.

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Spock's picture

September 23, 2019 at 02:44 am

Oppy, It's not just you. Slow response time, "hour-glassing", "Technical difficulties" window popping up on one of my log-ins, etc. The triple spacing drives me nuts. Now I'll "Submit" this in full knowledge that doing so WILL TAKE ME BACK TO THE TOP OF THE ARTICLE. I don't know how anyone is having a dialogue if they are having the same -back to the article's top- issues I am (Sigh).

Edit: Just hit Submit and, yes, still took me back to the top. This just sucks. The strength of CHTV in my opinion has been the great commenting back and forth. This new format is removing that. Why the heck didn't CHTV pick some regulars to Beta Test this first before putting this out??? Al? Nagler? Anyone? Bueller????

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murf7777's picture

September 22, 2019 at 06:01 pm

WOW.... what a defense! Nice to see Gary get his first sack and fumble recovery.

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Cubbygold's picture

September 23, 2019 at 05:22 am

For sure, build that confidence. I wasn't able to watch, but saw the replay. They send the TE at him, which kills two seconds, then the RT is just standing there waiting for him, and he still made his way to the QB in time. Impressive

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GBjohnny's picture

September 22, 2019 at 06:04 pm

I believe MM is running this site. Too bull headed to admit a mistake. Even with over whelming evidence and comments that this new format sucks.

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PatrickGB's picture

September 22, 2019 at 08:27 pm

Nah, I kinda like the new format. The other format was way too busy.

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Spock's picture

September 23, 2019 at 02:51 am

PatrickGB. You must be getting a completely user experience than me. Three quarters of the screen is taken up by one comment, Line spacing is wide enough to drive a small truck through, the multiple repeat replies take me nearly 4-5 page downs to go through and the ridiculous jump back to the top of the article after submitting a comment are beyond frustrating. I'm fast becoming fed up with (used to be) my favorite Packers site!

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Igotthisround's picture

September 22, 2019 at 10:19 pm

Pad level. We'll get that cleaned up.

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Bure9620's picture

September 23, 2019 at 04:35 am

That is funny......fundamentals

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buddrow53's picture

September 22, 2019 at 06:06 pm

I am good with the progress. Thought it would take some time for the offense. The good thing is I want to see them progress like the Pats do every year. Start off ok but not great but by the second half of the season well oiled machine.

No use to peak in Sept/Oct then [email protected]#t the bed later.

On vacation and looking forward to some THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL!!!!!

GO PACK GO
Good evening from Branson Mo.

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CoachJV's picture

September 22, 2019 at 06:28 pm

I love our Defense!!!

I knew Gute would bring in one of the Smiths when FA opened... but then he brought in BOTH and I only dreamed that we could be this good on D again. It has been a LOOONG time since our D was dominant. EVERYBODY is making plays on D... And it's only going to get better.

I love good Defensive football!

6 Sacks
2 Forced Fumbles
1 INT
3 Wins
0 Losses

Go Pack Go

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Thebearsstillsuck's picture

September 22, 2019 at 07:04 pm

I am surprised that you used the words speedster and electric to describe Jamal Williams. If he had even average speed, he'd be a superstar. I did love his energy today,but I just don't see how you can come even close to splitting carries between Jones and Williams

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Leatherhead's picture

September 22, 2019 at 07:32 pm

Jones breaks longer runs, but he also has more carries that go nowhere. Williams is a smart, tough, football player and I think he should carry more of the load in the first half of the season so that it saves some wear and tear on Jones and maybe he'll be able to help us in December and the playoffs.

It's a team thing. Jones wasn't having much success, but between them we got over 100 total yards from the RB spot. And no turnovers. And two TDs.

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Brand New Hero's picture

September 22, 2019 at 11:58 pm

I'll have a more solid opinion when I rewatch the game, but I didn't see a single cutback lane open for Jones. Now Williams made the most of his carries with a plodding move the pile approach, but the O-Line needs to do a better job at opening lanes for Jones; he's as electric of a runner as anyone else in the league. Give him lanes and he'll use them. Even on his TD run from the 10, I was surprised he was able to squeeze through that tiny crease; very impressive.

Jones is a far better runner. Plain and simple.

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Bear's picture

September 22, 2019 at 08:16 pm

Have to agree Williams 4.59 40 at the combine is far from being a speedster.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 22, 2019 at 08:33 pm

I don't care what his timed speed his. He's a hard nosed running back who can also catch.

Without him we are not 3 -0. Saw him live at last year's Jet game. Guy runs hard! Perfect compliment to Jones. Both will only be better when the weather gets cold.

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buddrow53's picture

September 22, 2019 at 09:24 pm

Look at Williams workout in the desert and tell me he is not a beast, I am a believer.

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Thebearsstillsuck's picture

September 23, 2019 at 07:52 am

I am a believer in the guy in his role in the offense. That role just isn't a speedster, and I can't see how it's a 1a or 1b back when you have Jones on the roster. Like I said earlier, if he had even average speed he'd be a superstar. But this offense has 2 playmakers, and you can't take the ball away from 1 and give it to a role player half of the time

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Gman1976's picture

September 22, 2019 at 08:04 pm

Both the offense and the defense made strides today. Obviously, the defense had trouble stopping the run, but created a lot turnovers and sacks. The offense had too many hiccups, but the line protected Aaron and consistently moved the ball for much of the game. If this team’s offense ever hits on all cylinders with the new system, we are going to be very dangerous in the playoffs.

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badaxed's picture

September 22, 2019 at 09:38 pm

This is the second week in a row we have been gashed by the run. This concerns me. The defense cannot allow this to continue or we will be in trouble not only with the run but play action passes. Letting needs to address this somehow. I kept thinking how we miss Daniels run stopping ability. The turnovers are awesome though. If only the offense/Rodgers could get going and maintain momentum this team could be great.

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PatrickGB's picture

September 22, 2019 at 08:25 pm

“There was a drive in the third quarter where Rodgers literally threw the ball into the turf twice in a row. It was strange and uneventful and if the Packers want to beat the Eagles this Thursday they cannot manage to have a quarter like that again.”
We are seeing way too much of this. Is Rodgers coming back down to earth? He has been otherworldly for so long that I have been spoiled with unrealistic expectations. Yet, I am sure that his total body of experience and work will be enough to keep us winning. A few mistakes every now and then is tolerable.

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dannylee's picture

September 23, 2019 at 04:38 pm

On the first one D Adams was going to block down field and there was no one behind him to throw the ball to. A totally broken play AR had no choice but to ditch the ball.

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murf7777's picture

September 22, 2019 at 09:11 pm

On both of those two throw aways he was running to his left from getting sacked. If he tried throwing right especially if no one was open would be foolish and put the team in jeopardy with a potential TO.

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Pierre's picture

September 22, 2019 at 09:17 pm

Adams was rated the number 1 fantasy WR by some at the start of the season. Rodgers connected just four times with Adams all game. Not going to cut in going forward with Rodgers inability to throw the ball down field to Adams. Only the defense is allowing the Packers to win with turnovers. Rodgers decline in completion percentage and hitting receivers in stride with quick passes is quite troubling at this point for this Packer offense.
I’m ready to see what Tim Boyle can do with getting this offense to be a lot more consistent as Rodgers throws far too many passes into the grass rather than to his receivers to make a play on the ball.

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J_brooks's picture

September 22, 2019 at 09:42 pm

Let me get this straight. You are proposing benching Rodgers for Boyle? We will give you a few minutes to correct your statement because that is most obviously an error.

I’d much rather see Rodgers not force things if the offense is not in sync. That’s smart football given how our D is playing. Give it time.

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Pierre's picture

September 22, 2019 at 10:07 pm

Yes, I said Tim Boyle should be given a chance to run this offense if Rodgers is unable to pass the ball downfield at more than 60% completions. 4 passes to Adams, an All Pro WR ...that’s unacceptable QB play by Rodgers. He puts far too much pressure on the Defense by not sustaining drives.
Are you even watching him, like he’s afraid out there, just chucking the ball into the turf?! Are the Packers really going to pay him 33 million to just throw the ball away.
The Saints, Panthers, and Giants all started back up QBs and they each scored over 30 points and went on the road and won games this Sunday. You never know what a QB will be able to do unless given a chance. Right now Rodgers is playing poorly at QB and is all about reputation only...the eye test and stats bear this out to the objective observer. He has been throwing very inaccurately and his decline is evident...even embarrassing to watch.
The Packer defense has got the three wins so far, despite Rodgers play. It’s really very obvious to see. So yes, give Boyle a chance at QB.

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Guam's picture

September 22, 2019 at 09:58 pm

I am not ready for Boyle to replace Rodgers - that is a bridge too far despite QB1's struggles with the current offense. I am concerned that Rodgers seems very frustrated with the new offense. MLF's offense appears to have fewer options than MM's and that leaves Rodgers having to throw the ball in the dirt too often for his liking. Rodgers likes being the star and being turned into a game manager seems to be irritating him. MLF and QB1 are going to have to resolve this and find common ground or it has the potential to ruin an excellent start to the season.

I sincerely hope I am reading too much into this situation, but what I saw from Rodgers during the second half of this game definitely heightened my concerns about the issue.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

September 22, 2019 at 10:10 pm

That's nuts.

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PAPackerbacker's picture

September 22, 2019 at 10:08 pm

How about the Packer "D" ? WOW!! Go! Pack! Go!

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Mojo's picture

September 23, 2019 at 12:00 am

There was more going on with the Rodgers throwaways in the dirt than just trying not to take a hit.

It's as though he gave up on the plays before he was even under duress. If he felt he needed to throw the ball away he could have looked downfield first then tossed it OB. Since when has Rodgers given up on a play so quickly? Bizarre sequence of plays. And IIRC on first down, he threw five yards behind an RB coming out of the backfield on what could have been a sizable gain.

Can't help but think he was making some kind of a statement there to either MLF or his receivers. MLF thought it was strange enough to go and talk with ARod who ended up taking a spot at the end of the bench.

There is still a noticeable amount of dysfunction with ARod and this offense that's going to catch up with them if they can't work it out.

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4thand1's picture

September 23, 2019 at 03:31 pm

I'm starting to think this too complicated for everyone but D Adams. Guys look out of place.

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Spock's picture

September 23, 2019 at 03:13 am

3-0. Three and 0. Sure there's stuff to fix, but, common man, this is great! I really, really, love our "Cough Drop" defense i.e. the Smith brothers cause the QB to "cough up" the football and we all know what Smith brothers cough drops are for :). I'm starting to think we should call Jaire "Alexander the Great" too, lol. Jaire's "veteran" strip of the ball from Noah Fant was a thing of beauty. Does the team have warts? Sure, but this sometimes ugly frog is beginning to turn into a handsome prince. I take the supposed "rift" some think is happening between AR and MLF with a grain of salt. I don't care whether they love or hate each other as long as the offense is improving (baby steps) each week. We've gone from 10 to 21 to 27 (should of been 30 if Crosby makes that last 45 yarder). I'll take that. I like that MLF wants to be aggressive. How many times did we as fans complain that MM would take his foot off the gas? MLF had no hesitation in sending Crosby out to try and add more points. I really love, love, love the defensive guys doing the 'group pose' thing. It's obvious the defensive guys are having fun playing as a TEAM. I love this team. I can't wait for Thursday night's game. What a fun time to be a GB fan! :) :)

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Bure9620's picture

September 23, 2019 at 04:39 am

The offense has been difficult to watch at times but the key is they have also not turned it over other than the Geronimo fumble against the Queens. Not turning the ball over goes a long way. The offense needs to sustain drives for the defense but I will say they have not yet put the defense in terrible situations either.

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