The Undefeateds: Who’s for Real?

David Minster, Maroon-News Staff

Real: Green Bay Packers

These guys are annual Super Bowl competitors all thanks to Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers and the offense are working without Pro Bowler Jordy Nelson, leaving them with Randall Cobb as their number one receiver. Rodgers’ talent goes far beyond his stats, as he has the ability to keep plays alive, throw on the run and be clutch in the most dire of situations. He also brings the best out of all his receivers, spreading the ball to all his receivers and turning players like free agent pick-up James Jones into a top target. Their running game could use some work since Eddie Lacy hasn’t produced a solid game all season. However, Lacy started off last season with a slow start and ended up being a top five running back. Even if he doesn’t, Rodgers has the capability to keep winning without him. On defense, Clay Matthews has the third most sacks in the league and is an absolute nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. Complementing Matthews on defense is Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, the monster second-year player out of Alabama. In addition to having one of the funnier names in the league, Ha-Ha is blossoming into a top pass-defender and becoming more of a leader in the Packers secondary. Ultimately, it’s not looking like the Packers are going to be slowing down anytime soon.

Fake: Denver Broncos

 If it weren’t for their spectacular defense and special teams consistency, they could easily be .500 or worse. The Broncos D has a touchdown in four different games, all of which were decided by less than seven points. It’s very unlikely that they can keep up this scoring, so they will have to rely upon the offense, which has been weak and coverable. On special teams, Brandon McManus has missed only one field goal all year. Even though Denver is one of the easiest cities to kick in, McManus has made a name for himself as a reliable kicker for Denver in big situations.The only reason Denver is fake is because of their shaky offense that can implode at any second. Running the offense is 39 year-old Peyton Manning, an offensive genius whose body is letting him down. After multiple neck surgeries and losing feeling in his fingertips, he now can’t throw the ball with zip and relies on softly placing the ball on short routes in order to pick up yardage. He’s getting picked on the lobbed passes, throwing a league-leading 10 interceptions through week 6. With Manning breaking down, the responsibility of producing falls on the running backs. The running back corps consists of mainly C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman, both of whom are fighting for carries. Anderson outplayed Hillman during most of last season, finishing the year with eight touchdowns and, for the time-being, became the premier back in Denver. After an extremely poor start this season, Anderson has left the door wide open for Hillman, who has had a handful of big games and is winning the battle at the position. Since Denver’s defense won’t score every game for the rest of this season, the unstable offense will have to improve tremendously in order to keep winning. With an old, rickety QB and an inconsistent running corps, it just isn’t looking like the Broncos offense can handle the workload.