Salisbury: Packers to run on the Broncos


Every Monday, ESPN football analyst Sean Salisbury provides his picks and keys to the game for ESPN PlayCaller. Want to put Sean's advice to work? Think you know better? Join now and let's see what you've got.


Quarterback with most passing yards: Brett Favre
Favre throws the ball more and Green Bay has been one-dimensional. But more than that, Favre loves Monday night games and seems to shine on the big stage.

Quarterback with most touchdown passes: Brett Favre
Favre throws the ball more and makes fewer mistakes. And did I mention that Green Bay is one-dimensional? I expect Favre to throw two or three TD passes.

Running back with most yards:DeShawn Wynn
The Broncos can't stop the run and maybe we will see a little changeup pitch from the Packers tonight. If you want to help get your run game healthy, the Broncos are the team to do it against.

Running back with most touchdowns: Along with the most yards, Deshawn Wynn will also have the most touchdowns. While everyone will expect Favre to throw in the red zone, don't be surprised if they decide to give the ball the Wynn and show the rest of the league a little power football.

Wide Receiver with the most receiving yards: Donald Driver
I expect Favre and Donald Driver to have a typical Favre-Driver game in cold weather. They know each other well and it will continue tonight. Like Favre, Driver loves the big stage and seems to step up his game.

Most field goals: Jason Elam
The Broncos have won three games late by field goals, but this game is not going down that route. However, Elam will have more opportunities during the game.

First player to score: DeShawn Wynn
I expect the changeup pitch in the red zone with Wynn getting the first touchdown instead of the steady diet of Favre passing TDs.

Keys to the game for the Packers

  1. Establish the run game
    Green Bay must be more than a one-dimensional team. They have not run the ball all season but this is a game that they are going to have to run it. It will be cold and the Denver run defense is suspect.

  2. Force the turnover on defense
    Cutler has thrown at least one interception in every game that he has started in the NFL. If the Packers defense can keep the streak alive, they'll put themselves on a short field for offense.

  3. Be patient, Brett
    If the Packers do get into a passing game because they are playing from behind or because the run game isn't working, Favre needs to be patient and do the things that he has done most of the year. Throw it out of bounds, check it down, don't force the impossible throw.

Keys to the game for the Broncos

  1. Pressure Favre
    You know the Packers don't run the ball well so make sure you pressure Favre and force him into making that ill-advised pass. You can not let him sit back and deliver the football, he will kill you.

  2. The big offensive play
    It hasn't been in their offense all year long but tonight they need someone to step up and make the big play. Whether it be a big run or a big throw from Cutler, the Broncos need something. They need the big explosive plays.

  3. Jay Cutler must take the next step
    He can't continue to turn it over two and three times a game. He can get away with it with some teams, but against the good teams in the league he can't. Protect the football and run the offense.

Sean Salisbury is an NFL analyst for ESPN