Sunday night the Green Bay Packers will take on the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. But before it begins, these are the five burning questions we have prior to the matchup.
Even a few months back when the NFL schedule was first released, this was a game that most football fans would circle on their calendars as a must-watch game. Unfortunately, it may not carry the same gravitas that it originally did with Patrick Mahomes recently suffering a knee injury during Kansas City’s last game.
However, it will still be a matchup between two of the top teams in the NFL. The 6-1 Green Bay Packers are looking for their fourth straight win but will have to do so in a very difficult road environment. Meanwhile, the 5-2 Chiefs will look to steal a win with Matt Moore under center.
But before we are able to watch these two teams square off, these are the five burning questions that we await the answers to.
Can they slow down Travis Kelce?
The big, athletic tight end has given the Green Bay Packers’ defense fits this season. A few weeks back, Zach Ertz of the Philadelphia Eagles would catch seven of eight passes for 65 yards. Then just last Sunday, Darren Waller of the Oakland Raiders would have a monster game, catching seven of the eight passes thrown his way for 126 yards and two touchdowns.
Now this week, the Packers have to go up against perhaps the best tight end in football in Travis Kelce. So far this season, Kelce has caught 67 percent of his passes for 541 yards, with 14.2 yards per catch and a touchdown. Even if backup quarterback Matt Moore is under center, Kelce is going to be a huge problem for this defense.
The good news for Green Bay is that safety Darnell Savage was back at practice as a full participant on Wednesday. They’ve really missed him the last few games.
Will Patrick Mahomes play?
Last Thursday night against the Denver Broncos, Patrick Mahomes left the game with a dislocated knee cap. Fortunately, the injury wasn’t as severe as it could have been, but Mahomes was still expected to miss about three weeks. However on Wednesday, to everyone’s surprise, Mahomes was back at practice and Moore hasn’t been told whether or not he will be the starter.
Personally I don’t expect Mahomes to play this soon. Given the time-table for his injury, it would be reckless on Kansas City’s part to put him back on the field so soon. I think this is just a ploy by Andy Reid to try to catch the Packers off guard a bit.
Is the Chiefs’ defense getting better?
It is no secret that the Kansas City defense – particularly against the run – has been the weak part of this football team. Through seven weeks they are giving up 377.4 yards per game which is the eighth-most and they just can’t seem to get off of the field.
But in their last game against Denver, they were quite dominant as they would hold the Broncos to just 1-13 on third downs, 205 total yards, and only six points. So the question is, have they turned a corner? Or was that game a product of playing a futile Denver offense?
Can the Packer receivers have another big game?
At this point, it is still unknown whether or not Davante Adams will play on Sunday but things do seem to be moving in the right direction as he was out warming up with the team on Wednesday.
While the receiving core did have a big game against Oakland catching 11 of 14 passes for 262 yards with two touchdowns, the two games prior were pretty underwhelming. Against Dallas and Detroit, the Green Bay receivers would catch just over 50 percent of their passes for only 226 yards and one touchdown. Instead, the Packers relied heavily on their running backs.
Green Bay’s receivers were able to exploit a poor Raiders’ pass defense on Sunday, can they do the same in Kansas City?
Will Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams have another big game?
As I mentioned above, the Chiefs’ run defense has been very suspect this season. So far they’ve given up 1,042 total rushing yards which is the second-most in football and opponents are averaging 148.9 rushing yards per game and that is the fourth most.
This bodes well for Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams who have been rolling the last few weeks after a slow start to the season. If the Green Bay Packers’ offense can lean on their two running backs they will each have the opportunity for a big game against this Kansas City defense, while also setting up the play-action which has led to some big passing plays the last few weeks.