This Sunday night, the Kansas City Chiefs will clash with the Green Bay Packers. There is still some unknowns going into this game, that we will talk about. Both teams are coming off of victories. Kansas City sits atop the AFC West at 5-2. Meanwhile, Green Bay is 6-1 and also leading their division. Now let’s things started with our preview of Chiefs versus Packers.
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Moore or Mahomes?
It didn’t seem like there would be any chance that Patrick Mahomes would have a chance to play in this game. Just last week, his knee looked deformed and he suffered a dislocated kneecap. Though somehow, Mahomes practiced in limited fashion on both Wednesday and Thursday. Andy Reid hasn’t ruled him out for Sunday yet (as of this writing). However, it could just be mind games by Reid to force the Packers to prepare for Mahomes, if he were to play. I would expect Matt Moore to start, but there’s no doubt Mahomes would love to be out there.
Will the Chiefs defense be able to have the same success that they did last game? The Broncos are a much worse offense than the Packers. But, Denver had entered that last game with a successful rushing attack going up against other accomplished defenses. It would be wise for the Chiefs to stack the box again versus the Packers. The front seven showed obvious improvements, and the pass rush was the most effective it had been all season.
Green Bay running back Aaron Jones has enjoyed his best campaign so far. Four of his eight touchdowns came in one game a few weeks back against the Cowboys. In that contest, and throughout the year, Jones has been dangerous by running between the tackles. Additionally, the Packers will utilize their other back Jamaal Williams out in space. He is a dual threat, who is averaging 4.6 yards per carry. The Chiefs will have to find the same success against the Packers that they did last week, when attacking the line of scrimmage on run plays.
We talked earlier in the week that the playbook shouldn’t alter drastically with Moore at quarterback. However, the running game will have a bigger role in keeping the offense afloat. LeSean McCoy continues to show he still has the goods to be a dependable back. Last week, McCoy carried the freight for 64 of the Chiefs 80 rushing yards. The idea to add extra blockers like Anthony Sherman will likely increase in a game like this. Despite an inconsistent rushing attack, the Chiefs have an opportunistic matchup against the Packers. Green Bay enters Sunday ranked 24th in rushing defense. To boot, they have allowed 128.9 rushing yards per game and 4.9 yards per rush.
For the most part, Aaron Rodgers is back to looking like his old self this year. The chemistry with new head coach Matt LaFleur has largely changed the attitude of the Packers offense. Where Rodgers is most deadly, seems to be when the opposition can’t provide pressure. Green Bay has long had one of the top offensive line units in the league and Rodgers generally has plenty of time to dance in the pocket. This forces defensive backs to have to cover longer. Even if Rodgers gets pressured, he can be just as deadly. This will be a challenge for all levels of the Chiefs defense. It will be fascinating to see how they go about defending the Packers when they are spread out compared to when they are bunched up. The Chiefs will need to play physical in order to thwart the Packers offensive attack.
Matchup To Watch: Tyreek Hill vs Jaire Alexander
Without Mahomes, Kansas City will still have a dangerous set of skill players for Moore to work with. One to watch on Sunday will be Tyreek Hill. Moore and Hill connected for the quarterback’s lone touchdown pass last week. Hill has developed each year into a more complete receiver. More importantly, he will need to be all of that and more in this game to generate some big plays. Cornerback Jaire Alexander is expected to shadow Hill one on one. In just his second season, Alexander has quickly grown into one of the top shutdown corners in the league. He wins with physicality and attacking the ball at the catch point. Who makes more plays between these two could lead to the possible outcome.
Chiefs versus Packers history: The last time the Packers visited Arrowhead Stadium they were defending Super Bowl champions and sitting at 13-0. The Chiefs went on to hand the Packers their first loss. It was Romeo Crennel‘s first game as interim head coach following the firing of Todd Haley. Also, there was a backup quarterback that started that game too for Kansas City. Coincidence or not, it was a guy who wore number eight, just like Matt Moore.
The last time these teams met in the regular season was 2015. Nobody who recorded a single catch for the Packers, or recorded a single tackle for the Chiefs defense is still on either team.
Both teams sit in the top ten in points scored per game. Kansas City is third at 28.9. On the other hand, Green Bay is tenth at 26.3.
Last week, the Chiefs pressured Joe Flacco on 42 percent of his drop backs and sacked him nine times. Meanwhile, Rodgers has been sacked just 12 times all season.
That will conclude this week’s game preview for Chiefs versus Packers. Stay tuned to Full Press Coverage for more great sports and NFL content.
– Braden Holecek is the Kansas City Chiefs managing editor for Full Press Coverage. He covers the NFL. Like and follow on Follow @ebearcat9//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Follow @FPC_Chiefs//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js and Facebook.