Key Battles Week 8: Kansas City vs. Green Bay

Here are some of the Key Battles that will turn the tide of Sunday Night's showdown in Arrowhead.  

The Green Bay Packers head into Sunday Night's matchup coming off of their best offensive performance of the season.  This primetime matchup has lost some of its sizzle because MVP candidate Patrick Mahomes has already been ruled out.  The Chiefs are wisely giving their star quarterback time to heel from his dislocated knee cap.  This matchup against the Chiefs is a trap game if I have ever seen one because it is human nature to overlook an opponent when their star quarterback and many other key players are inactive.  The Packers will show how disciplined a team they are on Sunday night as they look to take care of business at Arrowhead.

Here are some Key Battles that will help shift the game in the Packers favor:

1. Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams vs. The Chiefs Front Seven:

This is the matchup, I believe will turn this game one way or the other.  The key to victory has to be to wear out the Kansas City defense and keep their offense on the sidelines.  Kansas City ranks 29th in the NFL in rush yards allowed, giving up 148.9 yards per. game.   This means that the Packers must commit to running the ball at least 25-30 times.  If I'm the Packers I am looking for at least 15 touches for 75-80 yards from Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams.  

2. The Smiths vs. Matt Moore:

Preston and Za'Darius Smith will be the keys to the defense disrupting the timing of the Chiefs play calling as they will look to pin their ears back against their backup tackles.  I expect the Smith's to get plenty of pressure on Moore's blindside, and I am predicting at least 3 sacks and a turnover.

3. MVS vs. Bashaud Breeland:

I will be looking for Aaron Rodgers to pick his spots for play-action shot plays and when he does, MVS will need to win a one on one matchup against former teammate Bashaud Breeland.  Conversely, Breeland will be looking for revenge against his former teammates and hopes to leave his mark on this game with a momentum-changing turnover.

4. JK Scott vs. The Chiefs Return Game:

Another key to shutting down the Kansas City offense is to pin them deep in their own territory.  Facing a backup quarterback makes it even more imperative that Scott unleashes high and long punts to ensure Matt Moore has the longest possible distance to go in order to lead the Chiefs down the field. 

5. Tyreeke Hill vs. Jaire Alexander:

Watching these two go at it is going to be worth the price of admission.  This matchup pins the most explosive receiver in the league against one of the up and coming star cornerbacks in the league.  You know that Andy Reid is going to view Tyreeke Hill as the equalizer and look to get him the ball as much as humanly possible.  Stopping Hill and getting pressure on Moore will give me a good indication of the direction this game will turn.  Jaire needs to step up and have his best game of the season tomorrow night.

Keys to Victory:

1. Pound the ball.

2. Use play action to take shots down the field.

3.  Expose the left side of the Chiefs offensive line.

4. Pin Matt Moore deep in his own territory.

5. Contain Tyreeke Hill.

Prediction:

I believe the Pat Mahomes injury will prove to be the difference in this game.  With the reigning MVP, I would have predicted the Chiefs to win by a touchdown.  Without him, I am predicting the Packers win by a score of 24-17 and improve their record to 7-1.

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David Michalski is a staff writer for Cheesehead TV. He can be found on Twitter @kilbas27dave 

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Comments (32)

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ricky's picture

October 26, 2019 at 01:26 pm

I think the game will have a lot more scoring. Alexander has been erratic this year, and the Chiefs will be looking to prove they can overcome adversity. Add in the KC Krazies in the stands, and this is going to be a LOUD game when the Packers offense is on the field. The Packers are going to have to play disciplined, sustained "move the chains" football on offense, and get off the field on third down on defense. How the defense handles Kelce is going to be another key component in this game. This is the first time this season I've felt pessimistic going into a game.

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bjkdad44's picture

October 26, 2019 at 07:55 pm

Handling Kelce is NUMBER ONE!!

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Alphadork's picture

October 27, 2019 at 04:54 pm

I agree 100% if by "erratic" you mean "outstanding."

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Archie's picture

October 26, 2019 at 02:05 pm

As Matt Moore goes so goes the game.

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Cubbygold's picture

October 26, 2019 at 03:16 pm

With two OL starters out, smiths need to make it real tough on him

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Cubbygold's picture

October 26, 2019 at 03:18 pm

Easily the biggest battle is Kelce vs GB linebackers. GB allows big games for TEs because they don't have a MLB that can cover them. Kelce is in for a big day. Can't let that distract them and end up with big plays to Hill.

Mike Daniels out again this week. I think his injury was way worse than Gute thought through the offseason and suprised the team in training camp. Sucks that they weren't able to plan ahead, but huge kudos to Gute to make the tough call and better use those resources.

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19kurt's picture

October 26, 2019 at 03:30 pm

These are the games M. McCarthy would lose quite often....2nd string Quarterback, lots of injuries on the other team....like they never prepared for the game...I hope LaFleur has them ready and a game plan that makes sense....it used to be embarrassing watching some of those defeats to teams the Pack should have annihilated

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PeteK's picture

October 26, 2019 at 06:58 pm

Who's McCarthy?

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Bure9620's picture

October 27, 2019 at 12:33 pm

Funny, he's the guy screaming at referees at a high school basketball game

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GVPacker's picture

October 27, 2019 at 03:24 pm

19Kurt Couldn't agree more with your insightful post, you nailed it!

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Bure9620's picture

October 26, 2019 at 03:53 pm

I expect Reid to come out with a short quick passing game. He will want to get the ball of out Moore's hand quickly to take pressure of him and a banged up O-line. Reid will rely on his WRs to beat man and get open quickly. Also they will want to run the ball with McCoy to neutralize our pass rush. If the Secondary covers well, I like the Packers to win.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

October 26, 2019 at 05:10 pm

The Chiefs haven't looked great for about a month.
They got lucky in Detroit.
Then they lose twice. Those were with Mahomey.

Tyreek & Kelce are tough matchups.

Their crowd got to us in our 2012 15-1 season.
Hopefully this team & coaching staff are mentally tougher.

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ALLGASNOBRAKES's picture

October 27, 2019 at 08:21 am

I don't think it was so much the crowd in 2011 when we went 15-1, but more of a "One of Those Day's" type thing. I listen to a lot of those Packers press conferences with LaFleur or Rodgers or Pettine for example. One thing I've heard MLF say several times is each week his team is just trying to go 1-0. Not looking behind or ahead just focused on THIS WEEK'S opponent.

I got to tell you...I really like that and love the idea he lets his team know that each week. I also really think this coaching staff as a whole is much, much better than the last few years under McCarthy. Now I'm not saying I think each and every assistant coach is better than McCarthy's assistants but overall I like this staff.

Rodgers like his QB coach, for example, this year and our ILB & OLB coaches are WAY better than Winston Moss (SMH) who I still can't understand how he kept his job so long. The bottom line is this is a much better staff overall which has been a pleasant surprise.

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GLM's picture

October 26, 2019 at 05:17 pm

I'm normally very conservative when it comes to forecastimg a game. The only thing working against the Pack in this game is Arrowhead, but they've already shown they can win on the road. With that said, I look for a dominating game from the offense, especially the run game and the play-action that comes from that.

How are the Chiefs going to stop the Packers offense? They can't...plain and simple. They're missing their biggest playmakers on the line, and they're thin in the secondary.

Key areas that could help the Chiefs are special teams, and turnovers. If the Packers protect the ball and prevent big returns on ST, then it's game over...Packers by 10, or more.

Like I said, I won't go out on a limb very often to pick a game, but this one looks to me like we will run away with it, literally... go, Packers!

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PatrickGB's picture

October 26, 2019 at 05:19 pm

I am wondering how this can be considered a “Trap Game” when some sports publications have the Chiefs as favorite?
I expect a tough game. KC will be playing tough and they still have plenty of weapons.

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PeteK's picture

October 26, 2019 at 07:01 pm

Out of conference games against beat up teams are frequently dangerous as trap games.

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dblbogey's picture

October 26, 2019 at 08:46 pm

This is about the 4th trap game this year, according to writers who need something to write about. Silliness. They won't be taking the Chiefs lightly.

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DavidMichalski's picture

October 27, 2019 at 12:05 pm

Most sites have the Packers at -3.5.

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PackfanNY's picture

October 26, 2019 at 06:15 pm

I never like the “they have to run the ball 25-30” times. It’s just not true. However, once you can establish that you can run, it opens up all kind of passing lanes since the team that can’t stop the run must commit additional personnel to stop it. That might be accomplished with 15 running plays. Give a special QB like Rodgers those lanes to throw and it’s GAME OVER.

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PeteK's picture

October 26, 2019 at 07:10 pm

I'm very happy we have Savage back to counter the speedy and elusive Hill. I agree with Bure, short quick passes means we have to step up and make sure tackles. Important for us to take the lead and then just ground and pound and finally give our D a break and keep them off the field. Our O line should carry the day as the Chiefs are missing their two most important defensive players. Dare them to put 8 in the box with Rogers at the helm.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

October 26, 2019 at 08:37 pm

Um

You forgot to mention the BEST TE in the NFL in KELCE and the fact that opposing TE have ALWAYS RIPPED right thru the Packers defenses!! Who is gonna stop Kelce? Who?

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DavidMichalski's picture

October 27, 2019 at 10:11 am

I’d cool your jets on Kelce, I have him on my fantasy team and he hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire. I’m sure he and Hill will be targeted but I wouldn’t expect him to wreck the game with a backup QB. It’s for those reasons that I’m not overly concerned.

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Alphadork's picture

October 27, 2019 at 04:57 pm

My assumption is that he doesn't have to be stopped - merely covered well enough to force Moore to hold the ball for 3-4 seconds until the Smiths get to him. The Chief's O-line is decimated, and Mahomes compensates for that with quick throws and roll outs. Moore, by contrast, doesn't have Mahomes's vision, and can't run at all - like literally AT ALL. Look at his stats over the last 10 years. I think he might have negative rushing yards.

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Doug Niemczynski's picture

October 26, 2019 at 08:42 pm

I was really hoping Mahomes would play. I mean he is arguably one of the top 3 QB in 4th in the NFL. Could have been a HUGE eye opener for the Packers. But as of now I would say Packers win by 5 as long as there isn't any craziness on the field. It's still a road game and KC fans make a lot of noise.

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mrtundra's picture

October 27, 2019 at 08:25 am

I see our DBs having two INTs in this game. Look for a few sacks on Moore from the Smiths and Fackrell, who benefits from the Chiefs doubling up on the Smiths on pass plays. Plug the gaps and cover the edges to stop their run game and force them to live by the pass and Moore's arm.

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Slim11's picture

October 27, 2019 at 11:39 am

The running game has to prove itself productive early. If they do so, and I see no reason they shouldn’t, KC is going to have a long evening.

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GVPacker's picture

October 27, 2019 at 06:04 pm

Off Topic Here but I would like to hear from the Cheesehead Faithful and Al and his excellent blog writers! "I'm watching the 49ers destroy the Panthers in Santa Clara California.The 49ers are playing very well this year and it appears San Fran's GM John Lynch has assembled a competitive squad with a very good chance for a return to post season play in a long time. But it seems to me that there are a lot of empty seats in Santa Clara, would anybody care to elaborate why?

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GLM's picture

October 27, 2019 at 06:29 pm

I live in Calfornia, and my wife is, dare I say it, a 'Niners fan...lol. She's really enjoying their season, and she should. They're very good.

Empty seats are probably due to a number of reasons. It's very expensive to go, and I think the power outages are affecting people, along with all of the fires raging...just my two cents' worth.

Our matchup with SF will be epic.

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GVPacker's picture

October 27, 2019 at 06:45 pm

Thanks GLM I forgot about the power outages. I hope they can get a handle on that
and get power restored!

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19kurt's picture

October 27, 2019 at 09:00 pm

Like I said earlier...looks like Mike McCarthy back in charge...2nd string QB out for 2 years looks like an All Pro

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19kurt's picture

October 27, 2019 at 09:02 pm

If I'm Moore ..I would only throw to whoever King is supposed to be covering

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19kurt's picture

October 27, 2019 at 10:11 pm

Maybe if Packer "D" would learn how to tackle?

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