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Looks like Green Bay Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers (COVID-19) will sit this one out and second-year backup Jordan Love will start under center as their team follows upending the undefeated season of the Arizona Cardinals, and now the Pack and their 7th ranked defense travel to noisy Arrowhead to face another future Hall of Fame QB, Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes.
The talented 4-4 Kansas City Chiefs still have postseason potential if they could just stop all the turnovers and penalties, with playmaking quarterback Patrick Mahomes having now thrown a league-leading 10 interceptions, a sign that defenses could be catching on to what makes he and his Andy Reid offense tick, this game a huge crossroads in KC’s wavering season.
These cross-conference rivals have only played each other 13 prior times (including 1 postseason game), with the Kansas City Chiefs winning 7 of those games and the Green Bay Packers winning 5 of the games, plus one tie.
Green Bay has averaged 24 points per game this season, the team’s offense ranked 22nd in the league after averaging less than 340 total yards each outing, their offensive production one area this 7-1 Packers team could use some improvement before they inevitably enter the postseason.
What won’t help is that veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers (COVID-19) will not play and his backup, Jordan Love, will be forced into his first NFL start, the second-year pro only with 5 completions off 7 attempts for 68 yards and no touchdowns in the two games he played in this season..
Given that, the Packers’ run game becomes even more critical to the team’s success, right now with Aaron Jones averaging 4.5 yards a carry and 5.1 yards per touch, the dual-threat back with 137 touches for 700 yards from scrimmage and 7 total touchdowns this year.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is used to getting the job done whether he must throw on the run or from a different arm angle or while looking in a totally different direction, but now defenses are better prepared for his magic, and this season he looks to be pressing too much for the big plays.
That could be why he, of all NFL quarterbacks, leads the league in interceptions (10) right now, a sign that something is not right in the Mahomes camp, a glitch in the playmaker matrix that head coach Andry Reid and Patrick are no doubt doing their best to fix.
There is no doubt that this team has the talent to take them far into the playoffs, but Mahomes must stop getting greedy for the deep ball and start taking what defenses give him five to ten yards at a time, not as flashy but still effective when it comes to moving down the field.
The Packers (and arguably the NFL’s) best receiver Davante Adams still remains out while on the COVID-19 reserve list, a huge hole in the Green Bay offense that has kept quarterback Aaron Rodgers focused on his less dependable targets.
Adams is a 6’ 1” 215-pound receiver who uses his speed and agility to get open on most routes, plus he gets yards after the catch, this year with 52 receptions for 744 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Now for backup QB Jordan Love’s sake, Adams will hopefully be cleared to play on Sunday, but at least two other talented receivers that were also out could be in, with Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling both present for practice during the week, a sign that they should be back in the lineup by Sunday.
For the Chiefs offense to become more two-dimensional than just being about what Mahomes brings it, there needs to be an effective run game, but starter Clyde Edwards-Helaire (knee – MCL) is on injured reserve so it has become a next-running-back-up situation.
That role goes to Darrel Williams, the 5’ 11” 219 pound LSU alum now in his fourth NFL season who averaged about 40 carries per season the last two years, now stepping up so far with 65 rushes in 2021 for 230 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
Williams can also catch the ball, the dual-threat back with 19 receptions for 163 more yards, so far his most productive pro season and now with Edwards-Helaire still out, expect him to get even more carries.
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|Packers vs Chiefs Information
|Green Bay Packers vs Kansas City Chiefs
|Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri
|Sunday, November 7, 2021; 4:25 PM ET
|How to watch
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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