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Pro Football Focus uses a complex system to analyze every NFL player involved in every snap in every game and assigns a grade based on how he performed on that play, with each position having its own set of grading guidelines. Plus/minus scores are given in 0.5 increments and a small normalization factor is applied to make 0.0 the average grade for a game or season. To learn more, visit www.profootballfocus.com.

Although the defenses of the Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers rank 1-2 in quarterback sacks, don’t look for either team to do much blitzing during their Sunday night showdown.

Versus the Blitz

Peyton Manning’s decline this season has been evident, but the 39-year-old Broncos QB has been at his best when blitzed. Opponents have sent a defensive back or five or more pass rushers on 39 percent of his dropbacks (league average is 30 percent). Manning’s NFL passer rating on those plays is 81.1 and while that’s below the league average of 88.1, it has represented Manning at his best. When facing a standard pass rush, Manning’s 66.8 rating is much lower than the 90.8 league average.

Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers is out-performing Manning in virtually every passing category and has been particularly deadly when blitzed (123.4 rating). Opponents have recognized that, blitzing him on only 26 percent of his dropbacks. It’s pick your poison against Rodgers, however, as he still has an elite 113.3 passer rating when he’s not blitzed.

Route-Targeting Tendencies 

Manning favors crossing routes (16 percent of his passes, compared to a league average of 11 percent), followed by go routes (14 percent, compared to the league average of 12 percent).  He’s had difficulty connecting with his receivers on post routes (3-for-11, 33 yards, two TDs, one interception, one drop, 41.3 rating).

For Rodgers, 16 percent of his throws have targeted quick outs (the league average is only 7 percent), followed by 14 percent go routes (same as Manning).  He has been particularly productive on the go routes (10-for-23, 211 yards, four TDs, 116.1 rating).

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