Scouting report

January 25, 1998|By Mike Preston

Packers run offense vs. Broncos run defense

Running back Dorsey Levens, who averaged 4.4 yards per carry in the regular season, runs hard and gets stronger as the game goes on. The Broncos have had problems against the run most of the season and are small up front.

Edge -- Packers

Packers pass offense vs. Broncos pass defense

Quarterback Brett Favre is hot, and when that's the case, the Packers are virtually unstoppable. Packers receivers Antonio Freeman and Robert Brooks are way too much for the Broncos' cornerbacks to handle, especially right cornerback Darrien Gordon.

Edge -- Packers

Broncos run offense vs. Packers run defense

Running back Terrell Davis, who has gained 4,405 yards in 45 regular-season games in his three-year career, has to run well today for the Broncos to be effective. Packers nose tackle Gilbert Brown is the great equalizer in the middle.

Edge -- EVEN

Broncos pass offense vs. Packers pass defense

Green Bay has two great safeties in Eugene Robinson and LeRoy Butler, but Denver should be able to hit some passes on cornerbacks Tyrone Williams and Doug Evans. The key for Denver is to pick up Butler on the blitz. Green Bay's secondary hasn't allowed a touchdown pass in a little more than 31 quarters.

Edge -- Packers

Special teams

Green Bay punter Craig Hentrich has had a more consistent season than Denver's Tom Rouen. The Broncos' Gordon has returned three punts for touchdowns, but with Green Bay inserting Brooks as a punt returner and Freeman as a kick returner, the Packers have the more explosive units.

Edge -- Packers

Key matchup

Butler vs. Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe: This might be more worth watching than the game. Both all All-Pros, regarded as among the best at their positions. If Sharpe plays well, it greatly increases Denver's chance of winning.

Edge -- EVEN

Intangibles

Green Bay would like to repeat as Super Bowl champion, but the Packers' cockiness this past week has caused some concern. Denver would like nothing better than to shed the loser tag it has gained in four Super Bowls defeats, and veteran quarterback John Elway will give the Broncos an emotional lift.

Edge -- Broncos

Prediction

Favre and his receivers are too creative for the Denver secondary. Packers 24, Broncos 13.

Edge -- Packers

Pub Date: 1/25/98

@

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.