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Packers lose to Broncos 19-17, haunted by continued first half struggles

Another dismal first half set the stage for a frustrating loss for Matt LaFleur and his team.

Green Bay Packers v Denver Broncos Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers have hsitorically struggled in Denver, and on Sunday afternoon they managed to find another way to lose, falling to 2-4 with a 17-16 defeat at the hands of the Denver Broncos.

Once again, Jordan Love and the offense were entirely ineffective in the first half, as the Packers scored all of their points after the break. But another effort short of 20 points was not enough to get the Packers back in the win column, as the defense allowed a late go-ahead field goal by Denver. After a pair of second half touchdowns, Love threw a crucial late interception with the team near midfield, ending the Packers' threat and sending them home with their third straight loss.

As has been the case for several weeks, the Packers' offense was abysmal in the first half. The team picked up just two first downs on their first three offensive drives of the game, and Jordan Love totaled a less than impressive 47 passing yards by the break. Meanwhile, the Broncos moved the ball consistently but bogged down in Packers territory. They kicked three first half field goals as Green Bay's defense stiffened closer to the goal line.

The Packers' offense finally got on the board on the first drive of the second half. With the help of a double pass from Dontayvion Wicks to Aaron Jones, the Packers made their way into field goal range, where Anders Carlson made his first of the day after missing from 43 yards in the first half.

The defense gave those points back and then some on the Broncos' first drive of the second half. Russell Wilson hit a wide open Courtland Sutton for the game's first touchdown, giving Denver a 16-3 lead.

The Packers stormed back in response, however, and Love found Romeo Doubs for a touchdown early in the 4th quarter to pull Green Bay back to within six points. Love's throw was a bit off target, but Doubs fought off Patrick Surtain to haul in a contested catch for a huge touchdown.

After a quick Broncos punt, the Packers moved the ball well once again, with Love hitting Like Musgrave for a big gain. A bonus 15 yards from a helmet to helmet hit (which got a Broncos defender ejected) put Green Bay across midfield. On a 4th and 2 from the 4 yard line, Love threw to Doubs on a slant, and the ball went right through the receiver's hands. But luckily, it bounced perfectly into Jayden Reed's mitts, and the rookie receiver brought it in for a go-ahead touchdown to give the Packers a 17-16 lead in bizarre fashion.

Denver took the lead back with a field goal, however, as Wilson got to the edge of field goal range and Will Lutz hit from 52 to put Denver back on top.

But that set up the Packers with about four minutes to try to win the game, and AJ Dillon got the offense started. He took a dump off pass 29 yards, breaking a couple of tackles on the way to set up the Packers inside Broncos territory at the two minute warning.

The Packers looked to get to within Anders Carlson's range, but a holding penalty on a Love scramble pushed them back to the other side of the 50. Love missed Christian Watson over the middle on second down, then heaved a deep ball on third and long that was intercepted deep in Broncos territory, effectively putting the game on ice.

Love finished the game 21 for 31 passing, but for just 180 yards. He had the pair of touchdowns, but also threw the back-breaking interception late. Aaron Jones rushed 8 times for 35 yards in his return to the field, whole Dillon led the team with 61 yards on 15 carries and another 34 receiving yards.

Green Bay will return home next week to face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon.