Green Bay Packers: 5 Things to Know About the Kansas City Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 22: Wide receiver Mecole Hardman #17 of the Kansas City Chiefs reaches up to catch a touchdown pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 22: Wide receiver Mecole Hardman #17 of the Kansas City Chiefs reaches up to catch a touchdown pass against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /

As we get set for the Green Bay Packers Sunday Night matchup in Kansas City, here are five things to know about the Chiefs.

The 6-1 Green Bay Packers who are actually relatively healthy will take on a banged-up Kansas City Chiefs team this Sunday Night. The Chiefs will be without some key players including Patrick Mahomes, Frank Clark, and Eric Fisher to name a few.

However, this is not a game to be taken lightly as the Chiefs are coming off of a mini-bye and head coach Andy Reid always has his team prepared when given some extra time. Meanwhile, the game is at Arrowhead Stadium, which is one of the more difficult road environments in the NFL. Green Bay will need to bring their “A” game to avoid the upset.

This week I was able to team up with Cullen Jekel of KC Kingdom, where they cover anything and everything about the Kansas City Sports’ scene. Cullen was kind enough to answer five of my questions to help provide some insight into this Chiefs football team and I did the same for him about the Green Bay Packers, so be sure to check that out as well.

We know that the defense has been the weak part of this Chiefs team but what specifically has been the issue?

Cullen: The two biggest issues are the defense’s inability to stop the run and the number of penalties.

Both the Colts and Texans showed the blueprint for stifling the Chiefs offense: running the ball and keeping the Chiefs defense out on the field. Those two AFC South teams bulldozed Kansas City into submission. Even before those consecutive losses, teams like the Ravens and Lions were also able to gain a ton of yards on the ground, which the Chiefs can deal with if their offense is clicking. But that turns into a huge problem if the offense is even a little bit off.

As far as penalties, the Chiefs as a team take a lot of them, but the defense seems to make get called for some especially egregious penalties. Case in point, last Thursday night, in the win over the Broncos, Denver scored just one time, which was on their opening drive. That only happened because the Chiefs were called for two defensive penalties on third downs that gave the Denver offense a fresh set of downs. The first went against Frank Clark for a facemask while the second went against corner Bashaud Breeland for defensive holding. Sloppy play has hurt the Chiefs’ defense all year. Thankfully, aside from that first drive, the team played relatively clean football against Denver.

Who is one player on offense and one on defense that Packer fans may not be familiar with but could make a big impact?

Cullen: On offense, let’s go with rookie wide receiver Mecole Hardman. The Chiefs traded up in the second round to take the speedster out of Georgia, and on multiple occasions this season, he’s shown why. He’s burned a couple of defenses on his way to touchdowns, including an 83-yard catch-&-run against the Ravens in Week 3. In Week 7 against Denver, he caught his third touchdown pass of the season, bobbling the pass from Patrick Mahomes before corralling it and leaving the defense behind on a 21-yard score.

I’m not sure how well he’s known, but on defense, watch for linebacker Anthony Hitchens. Signed as a free agent from Dallas before the 2018 season, Hitchens has struggled in his time in Kansas City, but he had his best game as a Chief on Thursday night. He played like a man possessed, collecting a team-high six tackles as well as two sacks. On one of those sacks, he forced Joe Flacco to fumble, which fellow linebacker Reggie Ragland scooped up and waltzed into the end zone.

As Hitchens goes, the defense goes.

What should we expect from the offense with Matt Moore under center?

Cullen: Expect more of the same type of playcalling without the same type of results. Moore, who was out of football entirely all of 2018, stepped up admirably in relief of Mahomes against the Broncos. He went 10-for-19 for 117 yards and connected with Tyreek Hill on a beautiful touchdown pass. But his skill level just isn’t on the same plane as Mahomes’. Despite that, head coach Andy Reid made it clear with the calls that he made that he’s going to continue airing it out against opponents regardless of who his team has under center.

What are one or two keys to the Chiefs winning on Sunday?

Cullen: An act of God? A postponement? Really, I’m not sure. If the defensive performance against the Broncos carries over to the game against the Green Bay Packers, that would certainly go a long way. But Aaron Rodgers is a 100-times better quarterback than Joe Flacco is, so even if the Chiefs once again channel the 1985 Bears, that wouldn’t be enough.

It would be nice, and beneficial, to see the Chiefs get the ground game going, but the offensive line is still banged up, and none of the Chiefs running backs have looked great running the ball this season–save for a couple of nice moves by LeSean McCoy last week.

Will the Chiefs defensive performance against Denver carry over to other games or was it more so because they went up against a futile Broncos’ offense?

Cullen: That’s a great question, and I hope that the answer is that it indeed carries over. Mahomes, though being labeled as “week-to-week,” will miss somewhere between three and four games. My guess is he misses four games, gets the bye after that last game, and then comes back for the team’s final five games.

Next. Packers are finally on the other side of the injury bug. dark

Kansas City will still have a shot at a playoff spot thanks to playing in the dismal AFC West, but during the Matt Moore Era, they need to go between 1-3 and 2-2. Anything more than two wins is gravy. But to win even one game with Moore leading the way, the defense is going to need to play lights out. This first game, hosting Green Bay, is the toughest of the upcoming four. It certainly helped that Denver’s offense is poor, but maybe that performance will give the Chiefs defenders the confidence they need to play well against the Packers, Vikings, Titans, and Chargers.