The Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos will square off in primetime in a matchup of undefeated teams.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the matchup at Denver will be the first time Green Bay has entered a game 6-0 or better and faced a team that was 6-0 or better.
It will be just the fourth matchup of undefeated teams with six or more wins each in NFL history and the first since New England (8-0) at Indianapolis (7-0) on Nov. 4, 2007.
Green Bay is 6-0 for the first time since 2011 (13-0) and for the second time under Head Coach Mike McCarthy. It is the Packers’ fourth 6-0 start since 1945 (10-0 in 1962 and 6-0 in 1965).
The Packers are one of two NFC teams (Carolina) still undefeated this season and one of five in the NFL (Cincinnati, Denver, New England). With five 6-0 teams, the 2015 season has surpassed 2009 (four) for the most 6-0 teams in a single season.
Dating back to 1990, this is the second time Green Bay has been undefeated at the bye (7-0 in 2011).
Green Bay has won 13 of its last 14 games in the regular season, including the last eight, which is the the second-longest active streak in the NFL behind Carolina (10).
Green Bay will be on the road for six of the final 10 contests, including four of the first six after the bye.
Sunday starts a stretch that sees Green Bay scheduled to play in primetime in three of the next six games, including two games on Thursday nights (Chicago, at Detroit).
In Week 9, the Packers will stay on the road to take on the Panthers.
AFTER THE BYE
Green Bay will go on the road in the week after the bye for the seventh time in the McCarthy era. Green Bay has won five of the previous six. In 2007, the last time Green Bay had a Week 7 bye, the Packers played at Denver following the bye and won, 19-13, on Monday Night Football.
Green Bay will be facing an opponent from the AFC in the first game after the bye for the fifth time in the McCarthy era (2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2015). All five games have been road contests.
In games immediately following its bye week, Green Bay has won 15 of its last 19 (.789). McCarthy (8-1) is tied with Marv Levy (8-1) for the best record by an NFL coach in the game after the bye (min. eight games).
Green Bay has won its first game after the bye each of the last six seasons, outscoring its opponents 203-84 in those contests. That included a 26-0 win vs. Detroit in 2009, a 31-3 victory at Minnesota in 2010, a 22-9 win vs. Detroit in 2013 and a 55-14 win over Chicago last season on Sunday Night Football.
Since McCarthy took over in 2006, the Packers have a 57-28-1 overall record (.669) after the bye. Since 2009, Green Bay is 40-15-1 (.723) overall after the bye.
WITH THE CALL
NBC will broadcast the game to a national audience. Play-by-play man Al Michaels joins color commentator Cris Collinsworth in the booth with Michele Tafoya reporting from the sidelines.
Milwaukee’s WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since November 1929, heads up the Packers Radio Network that is made up of 50 stations in five states. Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (color) call the action. McCarren first joined the team’s broadcasts in 1995 and enters his 21st season calling Packers’ games. McCarren has four times been voted Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. After originally being paired together in 1999, McCarren and Larrivee enter their 17th season of broadcasts together.
Westwood One Sports will air the game across the country. Kevin Kugler (play-by-play) and James Lofton (analyst) will call the action and Scott Graham hosts the pregame and halftime shows.
The broadcast is also available on Sirius Satellite Radio (WTMJ feed) as part of the network’s NFL Sunday Drive.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Sunday will be the 13th matchup between Green Bay and Denver during the regular season. The Packers hold a 6-5-1 advantage in the series and have won five of the last six matchups.
Green Bay’s only victory at the Broncos came in its last trip to Denver, 19-13 in 2007.
The Packers are 5-1 against the AFC since the start of last season. Green Bay's .833 winning percentage during that time is No. 3 in the NFL behind Philadelphia (5-0, 1.00) and Denver (14-2, .875).
Green Bay is looking to start 7-0 for the first time since 2011 (13-0) and for the second time under Head Coach Mike McCarthy. The Packers have started 7-0 two times since 1945 (10-0 in 1962).
The Packers’ 23 sacks this season are their most through six games since 23 in 2001. The 23 are also tied with 1977 for third most by Green Bay since team sacks began to be recorded in 1963 behind only 1978 (25) and 1965 (24). The most the Packers have recorded through seven games is 30 in 2001.
Green Bay has registered a sack in 42 consecutive regular-season games, a franchise record and the longest current streak in the league.
The Packers have allowed 10 or fewer points in two of the last three games.
After seven sacks against Kansas City, six at San Francisco and three each versus St. Louis and San Diego, Green Bay’s defense looks to record three or more sacks in five consecutive games for the first time since 2013 (Weeks 3, 5-8).
Green Bay’s four games with three-plus sacks this season are tied for No. 2 in the NFL behind Denver’s five.
The Packers look to rush for 120-plus yards for the sixth time this season. Green Bay is tied for No. 1 in the NFL this season with five games with 120-plus rushing yards (Atlanta and Pittsburgh).
If QB Aaron Rodgers throws for 300-plus yards, it will be the 42nd 300-yard passing game of his career during the regular season.
Dating back to 2014, Rodgers has not thrown an interception in 18 of the last 22 regular-season games, including seven of the last eight. The Packers are 17-1 in those games.
Since the start of the 2014 season, Rodgers has thrown 53 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
This will be just the second time Rodgers and Peyton Manning will face each other as starting quarterbacks. Both rank in the top three all-time in passer rating (Rodgers, first, 106.5 / Manning, third, 96.9). The only prior matchup came in 2008, when Manning played for the Indianapolis Colts. In a game played at Lambeau Field, Green Bay beat Indianapolis, 34-14, with Rodgers recording a passer rating of 104.2 while Manning registered a rating of 46.6.
Rodgers has only started once in his career against Denver. In 2011, he threw for 408 yards, four touchdowns and a passer rating of 134.5, leading the Packers to a 49-23 victory at home.
WR Randall Cobb needs one catch to extend his streak of consecutive regular-season games with a reception to 47.
Dating back to last season (with Oakland in 2014), WR James Jones has registered a touchdown reception in seven of the last nine games. He has totaled eight touchdown receptions over that span.
Jones is tied for No. 3 in the NFL with seven receptions of 25-plus yards this season. His career high for 25-yard receptions in a season is eight in 2013. Jones has also recorded seven in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Since Week 8 last season, LB Clay Matthews has recorded at least one sack in 10 of the last 15 games.
Matthews is looking to register one or more sacks for the fourth time in the last five games
Matthews has 13 career games with two or more sacks. He is one shy of tying Tim Harris (14, 1986-90) for No. 3 in team history (Reggie White, 16; Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, 15).
LB Julius Peppers leads the team with 5.5 sacks this season. Dating back to last season (including playoffs), Peppers has 10 sacks in the last 10 games.
Peppers has recorded a sack in five games this season, which is tied for No. 1 in the NFL (DET Ezekiel Ansah and CIN Carlos Dunlap).
Peppers (131.0) and DEN LB DeMarcus Ware (131.5) rank second and third amongst active players in sacks, trailing only CAR DE Jared Allen (135.0).
LB Nick Perry has 3.5 sacks in the last three games he has played in.
In the Packers’ last game Mason Crosby (279) surpassed Ryan Longwell (278) for the most field goal attempts in team history. In Week 2, Crosby (1,085) passed Longwell (1,054) for the franchise career scoring record.
Crosby, who played at the University of Colorado in Boulder, will be kicking for the second time in the regular season in his pro career in Denver. In 2007, he connected on both of his field-goal attempts and an extra point.
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT:
Packers vs. Broncos:
Regular season, all-time: 6-5-1
All-time, at Mile High Stadium: 1-5-0
Streaks: The Packers have won three straight regular-season meetings.
Last meeting, regular season: Oct. 2, 2011, at Lambeau Field; Packers won, 49-23
Mike McCarthy: 107-55-1, .656 (incl. 7-6 postseason); 10th NFL season
Gary Kubiak: 69-66-0, .511 (incl. 2-2 postseason); ninth NFL season
Head to Head: 1-1
vs. Opponent: McCarthy 2-0 vs. Broncos; Kubiak 1-1 vs. Packers
MIKE McCARTHY…Is in his 10th year as the Packers’ 14th head coach.
Joined Vince Lombardi and Mike Holmgren as the only coaches to guide the Packers to a Super Bowl title with a win over Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV.
Led the Packers to their sixth consecutive playoff appearance last season, joining New England as the only two NFL teams to do so over that span. Has also led the team to seven playoff appearances in the last eight years (2007, 2009-14).
Has guided the Packers to top-10 finishes in scoring each of the past eight seasons (2007-14), joining the Patriots as the only other team to accomplish the feat; Packers finished first overall in scoring in 2014.
His .670 winning percentage during the regular season (100-49-1) ranks No. 1 among active NFL coaches (min. 50 games).
Was named Packers head coach on Jan. 12, 2006, his first head-coaching job after 13 years as an NFL assistant.
GARY KUBIAK…Is in his first year as the Broncos’ 15th head coach.
Enters his third decade with the Denver Broncos after being a backup quarterback for nine seasons (1983-91) and an offensive coordinator for 11 years (1995-2005).
Returns to Denver after spending eight years (2006-13) as head coach of the Houston Texans and one season (2014) as offensive coordinator with the Baltimore Ravens.
Has appeared in eight conference championship games and six Super Bowls as a player or coach and was a part of three World Championship staffs (S.F., 1994; Den., 1997-98).
Won back-to-back AFC South titles with Houston (2011-12), including a 12-4 finish in 2012, the most victories in franchise history, as the team produced an AFC-best nine Pro Bowlers.
Led the Texans franchise to a 61-64 (.488) regular-season record and 2-2 (.500) mark in the playoffs.
THE PACKERS-BRONCOS SERIES
The Packers first met the Broncos in 1971, Denver's 12th year of existence as an NFL franchise. A week 2 showdown, Green Bay defeated Denver, 34-13, at County Stadium in Milwaukee.
Green Bay is undefeated in the series in games played in Wisconsin (5-0-1) and won its first in the series outside of its home state in 2007. In the Packers’ first appearance at Mile High (and first trip to the city since 1999), the Packers won for the first time in the regular season in six tries against the Broncos in Denver.
Four-time Super Bowl loser Denver recorded its first-ever win in the NFL’s title game with a dramatic 31-24 victory over Green Bay in Super Bowl XXXII in one of the greatest quarterback matchups in Super Bowl history, pitting Brett Favre vs. John Elway.
Packers strength and conditioning asst. Chris Gizzi entered the NFL as an UDFA with the Broncos in 1998…Packers def. front asst. Jerry Montgomery played for the Colorado Crush of the Arena Football League…Packers DL coach Mike Trgovac served in the same role at Colorado State from 1990-91…Packers T David Bakhtiari and K Mason Crosby both played at Colorado, while DTMike Pennel played at Colorado State-Pueblo…Broncos RBs coach Eric Studesville was a DB at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and was born in Madison, Wis. …Broncos asst. strength and conditioning coach Mike Eubanks played football at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire…Broncos HC Gary Kubiak, LBs coach Reggie Herring and TEs coach Brian Pariani coached in Houston while Packers asst. special teams coach Jason Simmons played under them…Herring worked under then-HC and Packers DC Dom Capers while he was in Houston…Kubiak, Pariani and Packers asst. OL coach Mike Solari were on the same staff in San Francisco in 1994…Broncos DC Wade Phillips was the VP of football ops/HC of the Bills while Packers RBs coach Sam Gash played FB from 1998-99...Phillips was the position coach of Packers GM Ted Thompson while the two were with the Oilers in 1976…Broncos OLBs coach Fred Pagac was on the same Ohio State coaching staff as Capers (1982-83) and Packers special teams coord. Ron Zook (1988-90)…Pagac was the LBs coach in Kansas City while Solari served as the OL coach from 2004-05…Pagac and Broncos DBs coach Joe Woods coached Packers DT Letroy Guion while the three were with Minnesota…Broncos WRs coach Tyke Tolbert served as the TEs coach for the University of Florida while Zook was the HC in 2002…Tolbert and Studesville coached together with Packers QBs/WRs coach Alex Van Pelt and assoc. HC/offense Tom Clements in Buffalo…Van Pelt was in Buffalo while Broncos DL coach Bill Kollar was on staff from 2006-08…Studesville coached Packers OC Edgar Bennett in Chicago from 1998-99…Broncos asst. OL coach James Cregg and QBs/passing game coord. Greg Knapp coached for the Raiders while Packers secondary-safeties coach Darren Perry was on staff from 2007-08…Cregg was the OL coach at Southern California while Packers LB Nick Perry was with the team…Knapp and Broncos def. asst. Chris Beake worked alongside Solari in San Francisco and Seattle (separate times)…Broncos special teams coord. Joe DeCamillis served as the asst. HC/special teams coach for the Bears while Packers LB Julius Peppers was with the team…Former college teammates include Packers TE Richard Rodgers and Broncos RB C.J. Anderson (California), Packers C Corey Linsley and Broncos CB Bradley Roby (Ohio State), Packers DB Micah Hyde and DT Mike Daniels and Broncos C James Ferentz (Iowa), Packers P Tim Masthay and WR Randall Cobb and Broncos ILB Danny Trevathan (Kentucky), Crosby and Bakhtiari and Broncos T Tyler Polumbus (Colorado), Packers S Morgan Burnett and Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas and DE Vance Walker (Georgia Tech), and Packers CB Sam Shields and Broncos TE Richard Gordon (Miami)…Packers director of public relations Jason Wahlers began his NFL career as a PR intern with the Broncos in 2001-02.
LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON
Oct. 2, 2011, at Lambeau Field; Packers won, 49-23
QB Aaron Rodgers completed 29 of 38 pass attempts for 408 yards, four TDs and one INT (134.5 passer rating). Added nine rushes for 36 yards (4.0 avg.) and two TDs. He was the first quarterback in NFL history to have 400 passing yards, four passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in a game.
WR Greg Jennings caught all seven targets for 103 yards and one TD.
CB Charles Woodson registered a 30-yard INT return for a TD.
QB Kyle Orton connected on 22 of 32 passes for three TDs and three INTs (87.1 passer rating).