Packers Periscope: Week 3 vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Up Periscope against the Packers week 3 opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs

The Past

While definitely not as bad as the “Fail Mary” or NFC Championship games, the last time the Packers faced the Chiefs in 2011 was also one that many Packers fans would like to forget.  Sitting at 13-0 and on pace to make history, the Packers stumbled badly against the lowly Chiefs at Arrowhead stadium.  Aaron Rodgers uncharacteristically only completed half of his throws and was sacked 4 times in the process while the defense let Kyle Orton throw for almost 300 yards and a 104.1 QB rating.  Obviously the Packers were a lock to make it to the playoffs at that point and Chiefs were 5-8 and most certainly not but it still stung a little bit by just how off the Packers were that week.  It seems like every once in a while the Packers inexplicably lay a dud; it happened against the Bills last year and it happened against the Chiefs in 2011. 

 

The Present

Overall Team Efficiency

Packers

Chiefs

35.8%

6.3%

Offense

Overall

35.9%

-11.6%

Run

11.8%

-8.5%

Pass

74.5%

-4.1%

Defense

Overall

6.8%

-14.0%

Run

19.0%

-36.6%

Pass

-4.4%

-2.0%

Special Teams

6.7%

3.8%

Quarterback (DYAR)

250

-19

 

(All statistics courtesy of Football Outsiders, click here for a detailed description of DVOA and DYAR.  And as always defensive DVOA is the inverse of offensive DVOA so negative numbers are better.)  

Technically DVOA at this point is just VOA since Football Outsiders don’t account for opponent strength until the 3rd game (my assumption is it’s about statistical variation, hence at the moment the Arizona Cardinals are blowing the rest of the league away but only because they’ve played Chicago and New Orleans). 

While you might not have guessed it, Kansas City will be the best team the Packers have faced thus far; while Chicago has a fantastic chance of getting the top pick in next year’s draft, Seattle has been uncharacteristically bad at just about everything. 

The biggest matchup will likely be the Packers running game versus the Chiefs run defense.  While the Packers don’t really rely heavily on the running game, they do prefer to use a balanced approach that helps set up the passing game.  With Eddie Lacy unlikely to be at full health even if he does play, James Starks will have a tough time running the ball against the 3rd ranked run defense.  On the flip side, the Packers defense should be able to contain a mediocre Chiefs defense with only a handful of talented players.  

 

The Future

The Kansas City Chiefs have maybe the biggest problem in the NFL: the mediocre team.  Are the Chiefs a dumpster fire like the Browns or Redskins?  Nope, they are a solidly run organization with a good control of their salary cap and roster.  Are they a perennial Super Bowl candidate?  Vegas currently lists them as the 19th most likely team to make the Super Bowl and I would venture a guess that not many people outside of Chiefs fans would really think that this team is a viable championship contender. 

And that’s a big problem.  The Chiefs aren’t likely to go into full rebuilding mode any time soon but they’re also likely to play well enough at this point that they’ll never pick all that high in the draft as well.  As with the Bears, again this points back to the quarterback; while Alex Smith is a better quarterback than Jay Cutler 9 times out of 10, Cutler is a much better talent and Smith has been shell shocked enough in his 11 years in the league that he’s the epitome of a “game manager” quarterback.  Neither inspires his team, and neither is going to get it done with the game on the line.  Cutler and Smith have comparable contracts and thus both the Chiefs and Bears have the same problem; they can’t win with their current quarterbacks but they also can’t win without them. 

The Chiefs did have a chance to find their quarterback of the future when they had the 1st overall pick 2 years ago, but unfortunately for them the 2013 draft might have been one of the biggest collective busts in recent memory.  The Chiefs ended up taking left tackle Eric Fisher, who has been a massive bust so far, but its not like the 1st round produced many stars period.  Of quarterbacks, the most successful might be Mike Glennon and that’s saying something. 

Overall, the Kansas City Chiefs are going to be the most boring of teams; good enough that people who like to watch dumpster fires (the only reason I watch Bears games) will ignore them but bad enough that fair weather fans looking to follow the next Super Bowl winner will steer clear of them as well.  Pundits will throw out a hollow cliché just to fill in the space and I know I had to do much more research than normal simply because I knew nothing about this team.    

 

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Comments (14)

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Spud Rapids's picture

September 25, 2015 at 12:51 pm

Bottom line the Chiefs won't beat themselves... Pack need to play a clean game Monday night.

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hobbes's picture

September 25, 2015 at 03:24 pm

I'd say they beat themselves against the Broncos. While the Packers defense is no where as good as the Broncos', the Packers offense is much better.

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Nicholas's picture

September 25, 2015 at 01:09 pm

Aaron Rodgers has never beat the chiefs. Time to make it 30/31 teams Rodgers has a W against.

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hobbes's picture

September 25, 2015 at 03:24 pm

It's a pretty hard feat, the Chiefs are an uncommon opponent from the AFC so usually they only meet once every 4 years. On top of that, the Chiefs are a boring team so they don't get matchup up too often due to rating projections.

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Since'61's picture

September 25, 2015 at 06:01 pm

I think in that 2011 game there were a combination of factors tht led to the Packer's defeat. 1st, Rodgers and the Packers offense was not sharp that day and it was compounded by the crowd and Arrowhead is a tough place to play. You have to give credit to the KC defense which was a good defense and to the fact that their new coach put some unscouted looks into the Chiefs defense that week. This upcoming Monday night game will be different. We're playing at home and Rodgers is on a roll. The Chiefs offense will need to rely on J. Charles and a short passing game to try to keep the ball away from Rodgers. If our defense plays as they did against Seattle the Chiefs will have trouble moving the ball. I see the Chiefs as a team similar to Seattle in their approach but with a lot less talent. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

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DrealynWilliams's picture

September 25, 2015 at 07:25 pm

I don't know if this was a play off of my post or just a general post of yours -- but I don't think for a second that the Pack will lose this game. I was just telling others to not be so quick to discredit the Chiefs' defense.

Any given Sunday. I'm sure the Pack won't be coming into this game thinking it will be a cakewalk -- Offensively or Defensively.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 25, 2015 at 10:06 pm

Since 61, Your good! . Time for you to have a section here on CHTV

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Allan Murphy's picture

September 25, 2015 at 08:18 pm

3-0 After Monday night football ............

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4thand1's picture

September 25, 2015 at 10:22 pm

So we got our fast start. beat a really shitty Bears team on the road. Beat a lost looking Seahack team who has a really shitty o-line , missing the boom. Its still 2-0, better than 1-1 or 0-2 and the season just started. Lots of young guys again with arrows pointing up. AR won't lose this game and will tweet Smith, the 9ers should have picked me. By the end of the year, teams won't know who to cover, Monty, Cobb, Jones, R Rodgers, Lacy, Starks, Adams. Pack3-0.
GOPACKGO.

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porupack's picture

September 26, 2015 at 02:03 am

Yep, agree with you 4&1; we won't know how good this defense is until about week 6. But, good teams still inexplicably lose to bad teams, and great teams take care of bad teams. So, I'm with you....glad we're 2-0, but now time to take care of business this week, and I think the Pack is in the right frame of mind to do it.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 26, 2015 at 05:35 pm

Kinda of thinking the same. Go Pack Go

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Dan Schulz's picture

September 26, 2015 at 12:22 am

Tailgate recommendations? Coming in for the game on Monday from Fargo. Is there a must check out?

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Dan Stodola's picture

September 26, 2015 at 07:50 pm

Packer Pro Shop, Packer HOF, all the bars to the east of the stadium. If your there early enough or during the weekend get a Stadium tour. Eat at the new restaurant in Lambeau.

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Tundraboy's picture

September 26, 2015 at 05:33 pm

This game is a perfect opportunity, if they play like last week, 3-0 and some serious momentum. Then next stop SF for some unfinished business.

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