What Would’ve Been


AFC Game Of The Week

Green Bay Packers at Kansas City Chiefs

Packers: After seven games in, they sit at 6-1 in first place in the NFC North. This is one of the better Packer teams I’ve seen in recent memory. What’s made them so good? First, their offense finally has the balance that I’ve been calling for them to display for years. In a pass happy league, it’s still a joy to know that teams will make it a point of emphasis to pound the rock in between those lanes to run the football. Aaron Jones has been a godsend for the Packers and when you feed him the football, good things will continue to happen. Their defense is also much improved. That’s been their biggest issue for the last eight years. The offense would always find ways to score and sustain long drives to cover up holes in their defense. Now, they’ve stepped up and handled business themselves. The signings of the Smith boys (Preston and Za’Darius) is really paying off. They’ve each provided leadership to this entire unit. In their last two games, I’ve noticed one thing. Aaron Rodgers is beginning to work with what he has around him. That was always the knock on him in his career. I still remember when Jordy Nelson went down with a torn ACL, he didn’t look the same which made everyone say he isn’t that good without his true number one weapons. If Brady can lose a top weapon every year but still work with what’s around him, so can Aaron and you’re beginning to see it. The first few games of this season, he was still getting acclimated in Matt LaFleur’s system. The last two games, we saw vintage Aaron. The Monday nighter against the Lions, he was clutch and helped put the Packers in a perfect position to win that game. This past Sunday against the Raiders was the best I’ve seen him look all year long. He accounted for six touchdowns (five passing and one rushing) and became the fastest quarterback to reach the 350-touchdown pass plateau. To keep their winning streak alive, they’ll travel to Arrowhead for a Sunday night showdown.

Chiefs: They were finally able to stop the bleeding on Thursday in Denver against the Broncos after back to back losses to the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans. Although they won, they lost as well unfortunately. Patrick Mahomes had to leave the game after injuring his knee. The reports came out that it was a dislocated kneecap and he’d miss at least three games. I’ve even seen some reports saying he could be out for a total of six weeks and if I’m the Chiefs, you need to be smart with how you go about this situation because this kid is your franchise player for the next 15 years. I’m still questioning Andy Reid’s decision to call a quarterback sneak for a guy who had already been hobbled in a few games this year. That wasn’t smart and I have a lot of respect for Andy. This is how the Chiefs will go about business without Mahomes: Remember how their offense was with Alex Smith? That’s exactly what we’ll see in these next few games. They’ll run the football heavily, use Travis Kelce in different situations but most importantly, it’ll be key for Matt Moore to just take care of the football. This is also a good time for the defense to step it up without the MVP. They were able to do that last week in Denver which is a start. In the last year and a half, the Chiefs offense has covered up a lot of holes for their struggling defense. Now, it’s time for the defense to do its part while number 15 is out. They return home for an interconference showdown with the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.

Packers Player to Watch: Aaron Jones– He’s becoming a big piece to the Packers offense. Look at the Chiefs two losses, what did they struggle to do? Stop the run! Exploit that weakness. Aaron isn’t a guy that just runs out the backfield. For a running back, he’s a nice route runner. Look at the wheel route he ran against the Raiders last Sunday. Rodgers saw he had a linebacker on him which propelled him to take advantage of the mismatch.

Chiefs Player to Watch: Damien Williams– As I said up top, with Mahomes on the sideline for the next few weeks, the Chiefs will need to go back to playing the exact football they did when Alex Smith was still on the team. They ran the ball quite a bit. This is where I see a lot of Damien stepping it up to help Matt Moore. A running game will always be the aid to a new quarterback.

Final Analysis: This was the matchup I was really looking forward too. The first battle between Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. When the schedules were released in April, this was one I had circled. Almost six months later, Rodgers will be playing, but not Mahomes. But the show must go on. The Chiefs defense needs to rattle Rodgers early. I’m talking collapsing his pocket, making him move around and forcing him to get rid of the ball sooner rather than allowing him all game to buy time. The Chiefs also need to exploit the Packers weakness on defense which is stopping the run. For the Packers, everything is clicking offensively. Everyone is making contributions, even Jimmy Graham. Their defense needs to be ready to expect the unexpected because I see Reid dialing up some plays to confuse this Packers defense.

Prediction: Chiefs 23 Packers 21

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