On this week’s game preview edition of the Arrowhead Pride Laboratory, we talked about three things on offense and three things on defense to watch in Sunday night’s game.
Taking advantage of Green Bay linebackers
The speed and athleticism of the Packers linebacker group is very much in question. Be it in coverage or against the run, the Chiefs should challenge the second-level defenders and force them to chase. You could see Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy challenging the likes of Blake Martinez and B.J. Goodson running routes out of the backfield or on outside.
Creativity for playmakers
This game falls on Andy Reid’s ability to scheme up this game. On the field, it will be up to Williams, McCoy, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman. Reid needs to find ways get the ball into the hands of the playmakers at his disposal. We’re all well aware of what Hill and Watkins have been able to do after the catch. The first touchdown of the season was a slant that Watkins took to the house.
For the first time since the first quarter of the season, it will be all hands on deck for the skill players. Matt Moore has as much help as he could ask for. Simple plays need to turn into explosive plays if the Chiefs want to win.
The Chiefs put the ball on the ground several times against the Colts in their last Sunday Night Football game. That absolutely can’t happen. Moore might wind up throwing a pick or two, but the bleeding has to stop at him. The skill players can’t afford to fumble or be the reason that an interception occurs. Ball security is critical.
Generating a pass rush
Frank Clark did not practice all week and has been listed as out. Chris Jones is not playing for the Chiefs either. That’s less than ideal in a game where you need to be able to affect Aaron Rodgers. Without their two most productive pass-rushers, it will be difficult to generate effective pressure without sending pressure from the back seven. You do that, you give Rodgers more ability to attack in the passing game. There isn’t a great answer to the problem, except for Emmanuel Ogbah, Alex Okafor and Khalen Saunders will need to step up.
Will the cornerbacks rise to the occasion?
The defensive secondary wasn’t challenged all that much last week against the Broncos. That will not be the case this week. Rodgers has found success down the field to threats like Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who present a challenge to a secondary that has struggled to keep up down the field.
With Davante Adams out again this week, the pass-catchers for the Packers aren’t overly imposing overall. The cornerback group has held up better than expected. That must continue in a game where they will be challenged by Aaron Rodgers and company.
Can the run defense continue?
Coming off an exceptional performance on Thursday Night Football, the run defense looks to continue the success they had last week. The Packers have a quality offensive line and running backs like Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. The threat to pass that the Broncos did not bring last week makes it different kind of challenge. If the Chiefs devote too much to the run game, they’ll be torched for explosive plays in the passing game.
Gap integrity and good tackling will go a long way in helping this team continue to sustain success in the run game. Tyrann Mathieu likely won’t be there to assist. It falls on the front seven.
Arrowhead Pride Laboratory
We went into further detail on these storylines and listed players we’re looking forward to watching on the game preview edition of the Arrowhead Pride Laboratory.