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Broncos safety Justin Simmons says 'need to pack defense' to pull off upset against Packers

Can Broncos defense finally get sack, takeaway?
Posted at 2:35 PM, Sep 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-17 17:14:04-04

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Hatfields hanging out with The McCoys. Parallel lines intersecting. Me appearing on the cover of GQ.

These are all things that have never happened. Why bring it up? The Broncos have never won at Lambeau Field. They have gone 0-4, outscored by 92 points. That means they are due, right?

"0-2, going to Lambeau, I am sure everybody in the NFL world is picking against us. That's good though," Broncos safety Justin Simmons said. "We wouldn't want it any other way. We know it's a hostile environment and how tough it is to go in there and get a win. It's going to be on the defense. Going on the road, we have to make sure we pack our defense. We have to create havoc."

It will not be easy to gain traction. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, and he is gaining comfort in coach Matt LaFleur's offense. Green Bay scored touchdowns on its first two possessions last Sunday against the Vikings before grinding out a 21-16 victory. The last time Rodgers faced the Broncos at Lambeau he posted six touchdowns.

Yet, in a weird way, the Broncos welcome the challenge. They are only the fifth team in 38 years to not record a sack or takeaway in the season's first two games. Rodgers can carve up defenses. However, he also holds onto the ball, allowing rushers an opportunity to reach him, unlike Derek Carr and Mitch Trubisky, who rank among the league's quickest in getting rid of the football.

"Rodgers is great at extending the time in the pocket, letting his guys get time to get open. He’s one of the best to ever do it at that," Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. said. "There’s a reason why he does hold the ball a little bit longer – because he’s making plays for everybody else. But hopefully we can use that in our favor and be able to get some sacks. We don’t want him running around and buying time. We have to be able to make it a tight pocket for him, make it where he can’t buy that time and extend those, just collapse them and hopefully get some push up the middle.”

Broncos kicker Brandon McManus told me he knew the Bears were offside on his missed extra point. "But I can't be looking at that," he admitted. Colby Wadman drew the Bears off with a hard count. ... Emmanuel Sanders will be among several teammates trying to help embattled left tackle Garett Bolles get back on track. Bolles was penalized four times last Sunday, and he has led the league in holding calls the past two seasons. "At the end of the day, we’re all band of brothers. Obviously, I’m going to keep trying to talk to Bolles and see if we can get him right and understanding what he’s doing wrong because obviously to say that he’ll be alright is not OK. He needs to understand that he is doing something wrong because they keep throwing the flags on him and he keeps holding. I’m going to talk to him and hopefully we keep breaking down the film and just see him make that jump and get that debt off his back because it’s been happening for like two or three years.”