NFL Game of the Week: Green Bay Packers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The game of the week this features the Green Bay Packers as they travel to arguably the toughest place to play on the road in the NFL, Arrowhead Stadium, to take on the Kansas City Chiefs. Both teams come in at the top of their respective divisions and, at the start of the year, many believe we would be seeing this matchup in February at the Super Bowl.
The Green Bay Packers come into this game with a record of 6-1. Their lone loss came at home on Thursday night to the Philadelphia Eagles in week four. Their defense has been the leading factor in their six wins this season. In the first three games, they held opponents to no more than 16 points. The defensive unit is led by linebacker Blake Martinez, who rarely comes off the field and is in on almost every tackle the defense makes, bringing his tackle total to 76 thus far. The secondary has also stepped up big this year for the Packers, recording eight interceptions with third-year cornerback Kevin King catching three of those.
As always, the Packers’ offense is led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers. In his last game against the Raiders, Rodgers had what many are considering to be the best game of his 14-year career. Rodgers threw for 429 yards and five touchdowns, his most since Sept. 2015, when he had the same amount against his opponent this week, the Kansas City Chiefs. Along with the five touchdowns in the air, Rodgers also added one on the ground, bringing his season total to 2,019 passing yards and 13 touchdowns. Some people believe with stats like that, Rodgers should be in the conversation for the MVP award.
The Kansas City Chiefs will be without their superstar, reigning MVP quarterback in Patrick Mahomes this week, as is expected to miss at least three weeks after dislocating his knee on a quarterback sneak in the second quarter in last week’s victory over the Denver Broncos. In his place will be the veteran Matt Moore, who most recently started for the Miami Dolphins in 2017, leading them to a playoff appearance. Moore did just enough for the Chiefs, as they were already winning when Mahomes went down. Moore finished the game with 117 yards and a touchdown in about two and a half quarters of play. The problem is Moore has 46 touchdowns in 51 games played, 30 of them being starts. Mahomes has 64 touchdowns in just 24 games. Head coach Andy Reid is confident Moore can get the job done, but fans are skeptical about how well Moore can adjust to become a starter for the next few weeks.
The defensive side of the ball is still a huge question mark for the Chiefs. Although they did hold a lousy Broncos offense to six points last game, they are allowing just shy of 400 total yards per game. Veteran Damien Wilson has become a leader in his first year with the Chiefs, totaling 44 tackles along with a forced fumble. The key to success for them this week if they can force Rodgers to throw balls into pressure, where playmakers like Charvarius Ward and Tyrann Mathieu can come up big and help a depleted offense.
On Sunday Night Football, another six touchdown game is unlikely but Aaron Rodgers is poised to stay hot against a defense that has yet to prove how good they are. The Chiefs are down big without Mahomes, and Moore will be under a relentless amount of pressure to try and salvage these games in which he is starting. There won’t be much for him against a tough Packers’ secondary, so you can expect the Packers to stay among the league’s best in terms of record, and overall play.
Prediction: Green Bay 33, Kansas City 20
Danny Murray is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.