You wouldn't normally think your fourth cornerback would be a story line following a game but for the Kansas City Chiefs it was last week against the Denver Broncos. Quarterback Peyton Manning repeatedly targeted Chiefs CB Jamell Fleming, particularly on their final offensive drive where Manning completed 3-of-4 passes for 58 yards and a touchdown when throwing at Fleming.
Turns out, Manning isn't the only good quarterback in this league! The Chiefs face another pretty good one next Monday in Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. If you thought Manning was good, Rodgers' home field advantage is almost unbelievable.
Aaron Rodgers at home the past two years: 241-of-350 (68.9 percent), 3,375 yards, 33 TDs, 0 INT
33 TDs and zero interceptions. I mean, come on. That means you better have a plan, and that should be something better than last week's plan. A fourth cornerback shouldn't be the story but here with the Chiefs that was the case.
CB Sean Smith is out one more game with his suspension. Marcus Peters and Phillip Gaines are the Chiefs top two cornerbacks. However, when a third receiver comes on the field the Chiefs move Gaines to the inside and Peters and Fleming handle the outside. The problem here is that the Packers almost exclusively play with three or more receivers on the field, which means Fleming will be playing a lot of snaps. It's not fair to ask Fleming to be stopping Manning or Rodgers or, at least, it's not realistic to ask that.
The Chiefs and defensive coordinator Bob Sutton have to have a plan but there aren't many appealing options beyond Fleming. There's Marcus Cooper but then again would Fleming even be on the team if Cooper had worked out last year? Maybe not. The Chiefs also have rookie Steven Nelson but Andy Reid didn't sound like he was ready to give him a shot when we spoke with Reid on his weekly conference call on Monday. Ron Parker plays safety now but he would be the other option that comes to mind if the Chiefs did decide to make a change. Outside of that, I don't see much the Chiefs can do.
I don't really see the Chiefs making any wholesale changes. The Packers will be missing RT Bryan Bulaga. They are probably sticking to their usual plan: get Justin Houston and Tamba Hali to the quarterback ASAP and hope that leaves little time for the receivers to do too much damage.