DENVER — The Denver Broncos found some offence to go with all that defence, powering their way past the Green Bay Packers 29-10 Sunday night.
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 defence rattled Aaron Rodgers into one of the worst games of his career.
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 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.
The Packers (6-1) fell from the unbeaten ranks, throttled not only by the league's stingiest defence but by a quarterback who finally looked like a five-time MVP and not a creaky 39-year-old learning a new system.
Although neither quarterback threw for a touchdown, Manning threw for 340 yards on 21-of-29 passing. Rodgers was 14 of 22 for just 77 yards — 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 total offence to Denver's 500.
Any more questions about the Broncos' worthiness as a contender or even an unbeaten?
Ronnie Hillman ran for two touchdowns and when he was on the sideline with a sore thigh, C.J. Anderson ran through a defence missing Clay Matthews for a 28-yard score, his first of the season, to put Denver up by two TDs 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 offence were the tight ends — as targets. Freed up from blocking with the offensive line meshing like it hadn't all season, they gave Manning an option over the middle he'd been missing since losing Julius Thomas and Jacob Tamme to free agency.
Virgil Green caught three catches for 61 yards and Owen Daniels had three for 44.
Manning had 212 yards passing to Rodgers' 37 in the first half, but the Broncos had eight penalties for 69 yards to Green Bay's one flag for 5, so Green Bay only trailed 17-7 at the half.
Mason Crosby's 56-yard field goal on the first drive after the break pulled the Packers to within a touchdown.
At halftime, the Broncos inducted ailing owner Paul 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 was not in attendance. Terrell Davis, the hero of the '97 Super Bowl team that was honoured before the game, said Bowlen "may not be here in body, but he's definitely here in spirit."
"I am so honoured to accept this honour 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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Arnie Stapleton, The Associated Press