On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs face the Green Bay Packers. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Kansas City is favored to win. We welcome Kris Burke of Acme Packing Company — our sister SBNation site covering the Green Bay Packers — for Five Questions with the Enemy.
The Lions game felt like a statement win. Was it Jordan Love’s ‘I’m Him’ game?
It was a statement win. Love has gotten even the firmest skeptics to sit up a little straighter.
To borrow a quote from former coach Mike McCarthy, Love and the offense are stacking successes — and are finally showing improvement — after being stuck in neutral earlier in the season.
As for Love being “him”? I don’t know if that’s a fair expectation at this point. The Packers, if they build the roster properly, shouldn’t need love to be “him” week in and week out. That’s the trap they fell into with Brett Favre — and especially with Aaron Rodgers.
I’d still like to see Love show continued improvement before putting any declarations in ink — and he faces a huge measuring stick against Kansas City.
The Chiefs’ receivers have struggled this year — unlike the Packers’ young pass-catchers. What do each of them offer?
Green Bay’s receivers have struggled at times, too — but just like Love, they’ve found a groove in the past four weeks.
Christian Watson is a freak athlete who could tilt the field if he can just stay healthy. He’s struggled with contested catches (and even just catches in general), but he can be a special deep threat when (and if) he and Love get on the same page. You saw the potential against the Detroit Lions, when Watson had 94 yards.
Romeo Doubs just catches touchdowns. He was the star of camp when he was a rookie in 2022. He’s a weird case this year. He has seven touchdowns, but only 433 receiving yards. Right now, he’s the red-zone threat.
Jayden Reed, meanwhile, has become the top receiver for the Packers — something that not many saw coming from the rookie. He’s not just fast. He’s also becoming dependable, catching 16 of 20 balls thrown his way over the last four games. The issue now is that he’s hurt. He has a chest injury and his availability is questionable for Sunday.
Dontayvion Wicks has drawn some comparisons to Davante Adams — which might sound crazy for a mid-round rookie — but it shows up on film. While he’s averaging over 16 yards per reception, he also missed the Lions game — and is questionable for Sunday — with a knee injury.
Malik Heath is the super substitute; he’s been the Allen Lazard replacement. He played well catching the ball against the Lions — but he’s also proven himself as a worthy blocker, which is a critical part of Matt LaFleur’s offense.
Who have been the defensive standouts this year? If you were Andy Reid, how would you attack the Packers’ defense?
The big three of the Green Bay defense are Kenny Clark, Rashan Gary and Jaire Alexander.
Clark is so good along the line that sometimes I think he goes unnoticed nationally. He is a disruptive force who doesn’t have a lot help around him in the defensive line.
Gary just got paid — and for good reason. He was emerging as a top pass rusher last year before tearing his ACL. Remarkably, he’s picked right up where he left off; he had three sacks last week. A lot more people are going to know his name by season’s end — if they don’t already.
Alexander is one of the league’s best corners when healthy. He’s questionable for Sunday night. His absence would be the one I think Reid (and Patrick Mahomes) would capitalize on.
To properly attack the Green Bay defense, you have to get your players in space, forcing the Packers to make open-field tackles. That’s been a fundamentally weak spot since defensive coordinator Joe Barry took over in 2021. You should also take advantage when Green Bay is in zone coverage; Barry is slow to adapt.
Are there any prop bets you like involving Packers players?
Normally I’d say hammer the over on Wicks’ yardage. But since he’s hurt and not listed right now, I’d say take the over on Reed at 44.5 yards receiving — provided he also plays. He sure sounded like he was going to on Friday. Even injured, he’ll be a big part of the offense.
The Chiefs are 6-point favorites. Do you think the line is fair? How do you expect this game to play out?
I’d say that’s fair. I have a theory the Packers play to the level of their opponents — and that was true last week against Detroit. I’d say they give the Chiefs a bigger fight than many are expecting.
I think Love and company continue to show improvement — and actually keep pace with Mahomes and friends.
I still like Kansas City, so I say 28-24; a late touchdown wins it. It should be a great game — one in which Green Bay shows it should be taken seriously as a contender in 2024.
Be sure to check out the answers I gave to their questions by clicking here.