In Week 8, everybody on the Arrowhead Pride staff picked the Kansas City Chiefs to defeat the New York Giants. However, half of them thought the Chiefs would notch a blowout win, while more than half of the rest thought it would be an easy victory. That added up to a composite prediction of a 33-21 win that was 26 points removed from the 20-17 final. But our readers were a lot more worried: one in five thought the Giants would pull out a win.
In Week 9, the Chiefs face the Green Bay Packers at Arrowhead Stadium. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Kansas City is favored by 7.5 points. Let's see what the staff — and our readers — think about the matchup.
Tom Childs (@tomchilds56)
I've really struggled with this one. On the one hand, I believe the Chiefs should be considered favorites because of — you know — Patrick Mahomes vs. Jordan Love. But on the other hand, I keep thinking about how well-coached the Packers are right now — compared to a Chiefs team that certainly isn't. The deciding factor, in the end, was the fact that this is simply a must-win game for the Chiefs, whereas the Packers can afford to just go through the motions and end this nightmarish week. Chiefs 24, Packers 21
John Dixon (@Arrowheadphones)
Because of a surgical procedure scheduled for Wednesday, I had turned in my pick for this game before the Aaron Rodgers news broke. I had decided to pick a six-point Packers victory, saying that while I thought the Chiefs had begun to solve their problems, they wouldn't have enough of them worked out before Sunday. The surgery on my right eye went fine — and while I still think the game will be close, I think the Chiefs will pull out a win. Chiefs 27, Packers 24
Talon Graff (@CoachGraff34)
It has been a whirlwind for the NFL recently — and Kansas City is a part of those headlines with Aaron Rodgers testing positive for COVID being out for the Week 9 matchup. 2020 first-rounder Jordan Love will get the start, so the Chiefs' defense caught a break. Davante Adams is reportedly available, so he and Aaron Jones will be top priorities for Kansas City defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Patrick Mahomes desperately needs a clean stat line to get some confidence back. The offensive line has been great in the run-blocking department, so Derrick Gore and Darrel Williams could be a big part. Chiefs 27, Packers 21
Kristian Gumminger (@kgumminger)
After seemingly every 50-50 opportunity breaking against the Chiefs, getting to play Jordan Love instead of Aaron Rodgers could not have come at a better time. The Green Bay offense still has plenty of weapons with running backs Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon, All-Pro Davante Adams returning from his own spell with COVID-19 and a top-tier offensive line. But regardless of how talented Jordan Love is, the drop from the reigning MVP to a player making his first career start will be noticeable. His game experience only includes vanilla preseason coverages and prevent looks in a fourth-quarter blowout. He's seen nothing like Spagnuolo, who is known to be a madman when it comes to exotic coverages and blitzes. Still, the Chiefs' offense will need to prove itself for them to win this game. I think it's close as the offense continues to struggle with ball protection and patience. Chiefs 24, Packers 21.
Mark Gunnels (@MarkAGunnels)
This was honestly going to be the first week I picked against the Chiefs — and then Aaron Rodgers happened. The Packers' game plan shouldn't change much with Jordan Love. He's obviously not Rodgers, but he's more than capable of making plays. But this is a prime opportunity the Chiefs can't let slip. Love will be making his first NFL start in the loudest outdoor stadium in the country. I also think this is the week Patrick Mahomes looks like... well, Patrick Mahomes. This will be the turning point of the Chiefs season. Chiefs 31, Packers 23
Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp)
I said last week that the Giants game would be the last time I would feel confident picking the Chiefs for the rest of this season — and that's still true. The Packers losing Aaron Rodgers is a massive blow to them, but not an insurmountable one. They have an incredibly talented roster — and on Thursday Night Football last week, they showed that they could win with a strong ground game and tough defense. They will likely repeat that formula in Arrowhead — but I believe the Chiefs' defense will rise to the occasion. They carry the offense across the finish line in a low-scoring, back-and-forth contest. Tyrann Mathieu forces his first turnover since Week 2. Chiefs 21, Packers 17
Rocky Magaña (@RockyMagana)
I had this game circled as the week I finally picked against the Chiefs — and on this one, I'm still going back and forth. This Green Bay team was beaten up before Wednesday's news that Aaron Rodgers had tested positive for COVID. With Davonte Adams returning from the COVID-19 list, there is no guarantee that he will not suffer side effects from the illness. It's unlikely that he will be 100% by Sunday. And with the loss of tight end Robert Tonyan, Jordan Love has lost his safety blanket. This is a Chiefs team struggling in all three phases of the game — and whose star quarterback has the yips. I think Aaron Jones will have to rush for 150+ yards for the Packers to have a chance in this one. If I'm Spagnuolo, I keep eight men in the box at all times and dare Love to make the correct reads and get the ball to the open receiver. I don't have confidence in the Chiefs, but I have even less confidence in Love playing four quarters of mistake-free football. Chiefs 20, Packers 19
Kramer Sansone (@KramerTalks)
I believe the Chiefs lucked out by not facing Aaron Rodgers this week. I know that last week, most of Rodgers' weapons were sidelined — and with the majority of the weapons back this week, Jordan Love will take the helm at quarterback. In the first start of his career, I don't see Love doing much; on paper, the Chiefs' defense looks somewhat better with the addition to Melvin Ingram III. This will be a close game and should only come down to three points. If the Chiefs could let the Giants hang around last week, I don't see why they couldn't let the Packers hang around. Chiefs 23, Packers 21.
Jared Sapp (@TrumanChief)
Like many of my AP colleagues, I was ready to pick against the Chiefs for the first time against the Packers. Then the Aaron Rogers news broke. After Daniel Jones kept a heavily injured Giants team in the game on Monday night, I still won't be shocked if somehow Jordan Love can leave Arrowhead with the win; Justin Herbert's strong debut for the Chargers last season should weigh heavily on our minds. Ultimately, I think the Chiefs know they cannot let this opportunity get away. A backup quarterback behind a backup center should be too much to overcome. I predict a relatively low-scoring game as both teams try to dominate the time of possession. Chiefs 24, Packers 17.
Stephen Serda (@StephenSerda)
This week was supposed to be the first time this season that it was easy to pick against the Chiefs. Then Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 and changed the entire outlook of this game. That being said, last week, we saw the Packers and head coach Matt Lafleur adjust their strategy while shorthanded against the last undefeated team in football. That was enough to pull off a win. I'm just not confident enough I've seen the Chiefs make those kinds of adjustments this season. Even with Jordan Love, the Packers will install a plan to put him in the best situation — and after Monday night's performance, it's tough to have confidence in the Chiefs. Packers 28, Chiefs 24
Matt Stagner (@stagdsp)
Everyone wants to talk about the Aaron Rodgers news and how Jordan Love will fare against the Chiefs' defense. But the improvements we're seeing in the pass rush between Frank Clark and Chris Jones give some hope that Spagnuolo's side of the ball is coming around. Pressuring a young quarterback making his first start will be crucial. But the real key to this game (and every Chiefs game) is the play of Patrick Mahomes. It's no longer a given that he will be outstanding every week— but if he is, the Chiefs will win. If he struggles again, it may not matter as much what Jordan Love does. The MVP will get things back on track, and this week is an excellent opportunity to show he can do so against another contender. A balanced attack with Gore and Williams could help free up Kelce and Hill — and on Sunday, perhaps we can even see Josh Gordon get going, quieting the calls for additions to that group. I'm not that confident in this pick, but if the pass rush and Mahomes are good, the Chiefs could steal this one and get to 5-4. Chiefs 28, Packers 24
Bryan Stewart (@BryanStewart_)
To steal a few words from our guy Frank Clark, the Chiefs' defense should be smelling blood in the water. With a raw, talented Green Bay quarterback making his first-ever start, the Chiefs have to take full advantage of the circumstances. I do not think it will be easy because it is hard to imagine this team blowing anyone out until the offense regains some sort of rhythm. When these teams met two years ago — and Patrick Mahomes was injured — Green Bay narrowly edged out the Matt Moore-led Chiefs. I see a similar outcome this Sunday, where the Chiefs now squeak out a victory over Green Bay's backup quarterback. Chiefs 26, Packers 20
Pete Sweeney (@pgsween)
I think that this week, many of us here at Arrowhead Pride are feeling similarly — that we could not wrap our heads around picking this Chiefs team over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. The rest is history, with Jordan Love now set to make his first career start. I went from likely picking the opposing team for the first time in more than 18 months to continuing my trend of choosing the home team. But I think it will be a better game than most may anticipate, though; see first-rounder Justin Herbert's surprise start last year. Chiefs 30, Packers 28
Ethan Willinger (@ecwillinger)
I'm torn on this one, but I'm leaning Chiefs. The defense is starting to gel at the right time, which should give Spagnuolo the go-ahead to unleash his rare brand of chaos on Jordan Love. I'm more concerned with how the team chooses to scheme this game offensively. The Chiefs should pound the rock against the Packers, which are susceptible to giving up a lot of yards on the ground. Yet, I'm concerned the Chiefs will continue to press for home run plays too early in the game, which the Packers excel at preventing. Once the Chiefs go off script, I think we'll have a pretty good idea of how this game will play out. If the Chiefs run power into the light boxes of the Packers' defense, they'll control the game. However, if they don't force Green Bay's defense to adjust, I think we'll see much of the same sloppy play from Mahomes and company — and Matt LaFleur's savvy game planning will be enough to get the job done. I'll cross my fingers for the former. Chiefs 24, Packers 20
Which team wins Packers (7-1) at Chiefs (4-4)?
This poll is closed
Chiefs in a blowout (14 or more points)
Chiefs in an easy win (8-13 points)
Chiefs in a close game (7 or fewer points)
Packers in a close game
Packers in an easy win
Packers in a blowout
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Ties in the standings are broken with prediction points error — how much each prediction misses the actual point spread and the number of points scored by each team.
Tom Childs had the closest prediction for Week 8's Chiefs-Giants game, turning in a 27-17 pick that had 14 points of error. Bryan Stewart had the next-best pick; his 30-17 prediction had 20 points of error. Four other picks missed by 22 points. That allowed Tom to narrow the gap between himself and Kramer Sansone at the top of the standings — and Bryan to leapfrog into eighth place.