The NFL season is almost to the half-way point and the landscape is starting to become more clear. The Green Bay Packers have solidified themselves as a true Super Bowl contender and a top team in the NFL. Rewind three weeks ago and this week 8 matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers was one that NFL fans were looking forward to watching. Fast forward to today and the game has lost some value to fans due tothe injury to Patrick Mahomes. Even though fans were watering at the mouth to see a Rodgers and Mahomes battle, the game still looks to be a tough outing for both teams and one fans should be excited to watch. Here is what to look for in this week 8 matchup:
Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams:
The Packers came into the season wanting to recommit to the running game and they have followed that plan beautifully. The Packers have relied on Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams on the ground and through the air. Aaron Jones is tied with MVP candidate Christian McCaffrey for the most touchdowns this season with 9 total. Getting him involved has been a weekly focus for the Packers and this week could be the best game yet for the Packers’ running backs.
The Chiefs have given up the third-most rushing yards this season with 1,042 yards and tied for second rushing touchdowns with nine. In the Chiefs’ two losses this season they gave up 132 yards to Marlon Mack and 116 yards and a touchdown to Carlos Hyde. The Chiefs have a clear weakness. Make sure to look for the Packers to take full advantage of that this week.
Aaron Rodgers Encore:
The Packers are coming off a game where Aaron Rodgers looked like Rodgers of old. Rodgers threw for over 400 yards, five touchdowns, and had a perfect quarterback rating. All of this was done without star receiver Davante Adams. Rodgers’ five touchdowns were to five different players and completed a pass to seven different players. After a slow start to the season, the offense seems to be getting on track and looking dangerous. Fans should be excited to see how Rodgers follows up on one of his best performances of his career.
Super Smith Bros:
The Packers are coming into the second week in a row against an offensive line missing their starting tackle. The Chiefs will be missing Eric Fisher this week which will mean that Za’Darius and Preston Smith will both be looking to cause havoc in the backfield. The Smith Bros have 13 sacks combined and look to add to that this week. Expect the Packers to bring the heat against the Chiefs and cause backup QB Matt Moore to fight through the chaos.
Chiefs Battling Through Injury:
The Chiefs are heading into this game very depleted. They will be without the 2018 MVP Patrick Mahomes and relying on a backup QB to face one of the top defenses in the league. Matt Moore did enough last week against the Broncos with 117 yards, 1 touchdown, and 0 interceptions to earn his team the win. If the 2019 NFL season has taught us anything it is that if you have a competent backup QB and a great system set up, you can still win games. Kyle Allen, Teddy Bridgewater, and Gardner Minshew have all taken over for starters this year and have won a combined nine games. Andy Reid has a system that most quarterbacks can be successful in, so the Packers cannot rest easy knowing there is a backup in the game.
Missing their MVP quarterback is not the only injury they will need to overcome. They will be missing linemen on both sides of the ball. As I mentioned before they will be without starting tackle Eric Fisher which can be dangerous when the Smith Bros are across from you. On the other side of the ball they will be without their best pass rusher Frank Clark and defensive tackle Chris Jones. For a team that has one of the worst run defenses in the league, missing linemen can be detrimental.
Jaire Alexander vs Tyreke Hill:
The Packers have a young star in Jaire Alexander. He is one of the best young corners in the league and is facing one of his toughest opponents this year. Tyreke Hill brings speed that Alexander has never faced before, so fans should be excited to see if he can add to his already league-leading 13 forced incompletions. Alexander is already at an advantage with Hill not having Mahomes throwing him the ball, but Hill has the skill to get open against any cornerback in the NFL.
The Packers offense looks to be clicking on all cylinders and is facing a depleted Chiefs team this week. The Chiefs are well-coached and have a talented roster, but the Packers will overwhelm them on the ground and Rodgers will take advantage of the openings off play action. I predict this to be the best well-rounded performance from the Packers offense of the season.
Packers 31 – Chiefs 17