clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Preview: Green Bay at Kansas City

Kansas City's defense is performing similar to San Diego's, with an average run defense and above average pass defense due in large part to their pass rush. Against San Diego, Mike McCarthy decided to run the ball a whopping 13 times and attempt 45 passes. That would indicate he intends to call a lot of pass plays on Sunday, but the situation in the backfield has changed a lot since that San Diego game. Since then, he has used DeShawn Wynn and Ryan Grant as his 1st and 2nd down big backs, while Vernand Morency is his 3rd down back. With Wynn done for the season, it looks like Grant is the number one back. That's what McCarthy said in his last press conference, but he also said that Brandon Jackson is now his number 2 "situational" (I assume he means 3rd down back) despite not playing in weeks, and Morency is the number 3 back playing mostly on special teams.  Against San Diego, the Packers were able to call a lot of pass plays because LT Chad Clifton did a very good job of shutting their top pass rusher down, LB Shawne Merriman. If the Packers can stop DE Jared Allen, who's playing lights out this season, then a pass happy game plan is possible. McCarthy has been more willing to call for a run since the week 3 game against San Diego, so I would expect more than 13 run plays called against San Diego, but the Packers will probably still pass more than run.

On defense, its all about stopping TE Tony Gonzalez. He's not the same player he was a few seasons ago, but tight ends Tony Scheffler, Chris Cooley, Desmond Clark, and Greg Olson have all caught TDs against Green Bay over the last three games. Tight ends have killed the Packers for the past few seasons and 2007 is no exception. Rookie WR Dwyane Bowe has had a great 2007 season too. The Packers aren't being killed by wide receivers this season, but a number of them have had good games against the Packers this season and there is no reason to expect Bowe can't easily get 5 catches for 70 yards. Some running backs have had some good receiving games against the Packers, but RB Larry Johnson isn't doing much damage as a runner or receiver this season, averaging a bad 3.6 yards/carry and an awful 5.3 yards/reception. Although Kansas City's pass offense is much better than their terrible run offense, Chris over at Arrowhead Pride said he expects Herm Edwards to continue to run the ball first and foremost, at least for the first half. With the Packers run defense playing well, expect a poor offense output by Kansas City in the first half until they get Gonzalez and Bowe going in the second half.

Except for week 2 against the Giants, every Packer game this season has been decided by seven points or less, so it's going to be a close game. Kansas City has only lost when held to 10 points or less and the Packers have not held any team under 10 points this season, so that doesn't look good for the Packers. Still, the Chiefs appear similar to Washington, a team the Packers beat three weeks ago in an ugly punt filled game. I'll say Packers 14, Chiefs 10.