Since Mike McCarthy became the head coach of the Green Bay Packers in 2006, the team’s record in the game following a bye week has been fabulous.
In nine seasons, the Packers are 8-1 in those games. The only loss occurred in 2008, as the Packers lost to the Tennessee Titans in Nashville 19-16 in overtime.
Other than that, the Packers have won each of the games following the bye week.
Let’s take a look at the wins:
2006: Defeated the Miami Dolphins 34-24 at Lambeau Field.
2007: Defeated the Denver Broncos 19-13 in overtime at Invesco Field.
2009: Defeated the Detroit Lions 26-0 at Lambeau Field.
2010: Defeated the Minnesota Vikings 31-3 at the Metrodome.
2011: Defeated the San Diego Chargers 45-38 at Qualcomm Stadium.
2012: Defeated the Detroit Lions 24-20 at Ford Field.
2013: Defeated the Detroit Lions 22-9 at Lambeau Field.
2014: Defeated the Chicago Bears 55-14 at Lambeau Field.
One of the reasons that the Packers have been so successful under McCarthy the game following the bye week is the performance of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
No. 12 has been under center in seven of the nine games played in that scenario. The Packers are 6-1 in those games.
In those seven games, Rodgers has thrown 20 touchdown passes versus just three interceptions for 2,045 yards. That adds up to a composite passer rating of 119.5.
This year the 6-0 Packers will be traveling again to Denver to take on the also 6-0 Broncos.
The bye week is coming at a great time for the Packers, as a number of players are nicked up with injuries and need some time to heal up.
The list includes Eddie Lacy (ankle), Randall Cobb (shoulder), Davante Adams (ankle), Ty Montgomery (ankle), Bryan Bulaga (knee), T.J. Lang (knee), B.J. Raji (groin), Nick Perry (shoulder) and Morgan Burnett (calf).
As history has proven, McCarthy and his coaching staff have put together some nice game plans for their opponents in the game following the bye week.
The unbeaten Broncos will be a difficult test, especially when going up against their defense. Denver is ranked second in the NFL in total defense. That includes being third in passing defense and fifth in rushing defense.
The Broncos also lead the league in sacks with 26, plus have created 17 turnovers and have also scored four touchdowns.
Denver has also held opposing quarterbacks to a 69.6 passer rating, having allowed only five touchdown passes in six games, while picking off nine passes.
That defense versus Rodgers should be a classic matchup. No. 12 has thrown a league-leading 15 touchdown passes versus just two picks for 1,491 yards. That adds up to a 115.9 passer rating.
Rodgers will certainly be helped in the game if the Packers can have their full compliment of playmakers available on offense.
One of the more shocking details about the Broncos has been the performance of their offense. Denver is ranked just 29th in total offense.
One of the big reasons for that situation is the play of Peyton Manning.
It looks like Father Time has caught up with No. 18, as a number of his passes seem to be fluttering far too often. If opposing defenses can force Manning off his spot in the pocket, his lack of mobility and arm strength will usually mean either an incomplete pass or an interception.
For the 2015 season, Manning has thrown seven touchdown passes versus 10 picks for 1,524 yards. That adds up to a very mediocre 72.5 passer rating.
The Packers are second in the NFL with 23 sacks and should be able to force Manning off his spot, which is a key factor.
Yes, I know the Packers just gave up over 500 yards passing against Philip Rivers, but that was against a quarterback who has a very quick release and has always been able to thrown the ball accurately from different arm angles.
Manning also has a quick release, but doesn’t throw well on the move. That is why it is imperative for the Packers to move Manning away from his preferred spot in the pocket.
Time will tell what will occur on the Sunday night (November 1) when the Packers face the Broncos in Denver, but if history is a blueprint for the future, I like Green Bay’s chances of going 7-0.