Editor’s note: As we head into Sunday’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers, we welcome Jon Meerdink of Acme Packing Company — our sister SB Nation site covering Green Bay Packers— for Five Questions with the Enemy.
1) Do you think there will be any long-term effects for Rodgers and the Packers after the latest drama?
I wish I had a more exciting answer here, but it’s really hard to say. This is a dramatic understatement, but Rodgers and the Packers have been through a lot together in 2021. So on one hand, it’s hard to imagine one more thing (even something as high profile as this!) making that relationship any more complicated, even if things have been going pretty well recently.
But on the other hand, Rodgers has undoubtedly put the Packers in a bad spot here. They’re now having to answer some difficult questions about their handling of both Rodgers and their overall COVID compliance, and it’s hard to think there’s not some resentment involved there, especially with Matt LaFleur giving a couple of terse “you’ll have to ask Aaron”-type responses.
2) How confident are you in Jordan Love to get a victory in KC?
Love is an interesting B-plot to the ongoing Rodgers saga especially since he’s more or less still a complete unknown. Other than some brief work in the preseason, we really haven’t seen all that much from him. There’s tape out there from Utah State, but other than that, all we’ve really got to go on is Brian Gutekunst’s word that Love was worth trading up for in 2019.
In light of that, I’m not super confident that Love can get a victory this weekend. He has real ability and he’ll be working with an array of talented skill position players and an excellent play-caller, so he’ll be well-positioned to succeed. But I just don’t know enough about what he can do in a real game situation to feel confident.
3) Looking at stats, it appears that everyone is contributing to the success of the Packers defense — but has there been any standout performers?
The first name that comes to mind is De’Vondre Campbell, who was just named NFC Defensive Player of the Month for October. A career journeyman to this point, Campbell has been a steal for the Packers this year. Wearing the radio helmet, he’s been a stabilizing force in the middle and makes quite a few plays, too.
Beyond that, look for Rashan Gary and Kenny Clark to push the pocket up front. Gary is really coming into his own in his third season, while Clark is having another typically excellent year. If you keep an eye on these three guys, you’ll have a pretty good idea how the Packers’ defense is performing as a whole.
4) Is this a chance for Matt LeFleur to prove that the Packers are more than Aaron Rodgers?
I’d say! LaFleur has done a lot to advance that idea through his 2.5 years with the team already, and if he could somehow eke out a win in Kansas City this weekend, the Coach of the Year trophy should be on its way to his house by Monday afternoon.
LaFleur will probably have a pretty creative gameplan for Love, and I’m excited to see what he can do. The Packers already are more than Rodgers. Now it’s time to prove it.
5) How does this one play out and score prediction?
I think the Packers will be competitive at points, but the Chiefs should pull this one out. Kansas City 27 Green Bay 17.
Be sure to check out the answers I gave to their questions by clicking here.