The Green Bay Packers (13-0) travel to Arrowhead Stadium to play the Kansas City Chiefs (5-8) this Sunday afternoon. The Packers have won the NFC North title, and they secured a first-round bye in the playoffs after beating the Oakland Raiders last week. Green Bay can secure homefield advantage throughout the playoffs with a win over Kansas City.
The last time Green Bay played the Kansas City Chiefs in a regular season game was in 2007, which the Packers won 33-22 at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas City holds a 3-game lead all-time against Green Bay (3-6-1), heading into their 11th game. This will be the Packers’ first regular season game against the Chiefs, since Aaron Rodgers became the starting quarterback. The Packers beat the Chiefs (20-19) in the final preseason game back in September at Lambeau Field.
Kansas City is coming off an embarrassing 37-10 loss to the New York Jets, which was followed by the firing of head coach Todd Haley on Monday. Defensive Coordinator Romeo Crennel was appointed interim head coach for the remainder of the season, and he announced on Wednesday that Kyle Orton would start at quarterback against the Packers.
The Chiefs lost starting quarterback Matt Cassel to a season-ending hand injury a few weeks ago and started backup quarterback Tyler Palko against the Jets last week. Palko completed 16-of-32 passes and threw for 195 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception against the Jets.
Orton has thrown 8 touchdowns, 7 interceptions and has a 75.2 passer rating this season. Compared to Orton, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers has thrown 39 touchdowns, 6 interceptions and has a league-leading 123.3 passer rating. Orton has 979 total passing yards to Rodgers’ 4,125 passing yards this season.
Green Bay comes off a 46-16 blowout over the Oakland Raiders last Sunday. The Packers are 13-0 for the first time in team history and began offering stock in the team for the fifth time in the team’s history last week, which can be purchased by the general public here.
Rodgers is the clear front-runner as the NFL’s most valuable player and continues to have the highest passer rating (103.7) in the history of the NFL. He also has some funny television commercials airing that can be viewed here, here and here.
Green Bay will be without wide receiver Greg Jennings (knee), running back James Starks (ankle), guard Josh Sitton (knee), offensive tackle Chad Clifton (hamstring), and linebacker Desmond Bishop (calf) this Sunday.
The Green Bay Packers can secure a victory against the Kansas City Chiefs, if they address three key issues during the game.
1. Protect Aaron Rodgers
The Packers will want to protect their most valuable asset heading into the playoffs. It also appears that head coach Mike McCarthy will play to win the remaining games on the schedule and make a run at an undefeated regular season. The only way that can happen is if Aaron Rodgers remains healthy.
As long as the offensive line can give the best quarterback in the league time to find an open receiver, Green Bay will not have any problems on offense. Look for wide receiver Randall Cobb to get more looks this week with the absence of Greg Jennings.
2. Allow the Chiefs to implode
Just like the Raiders did last week, the Chiefs could implode with an interim head coach, a new starting quarterback and a negative turnover ratio. The only thing left for the Chiefs to play for this season is pride, which may not be enough to beat the undefeated Packers.
3. Play solid defense
Green Bay will be playing for homefield advantage on Sunday, which is one of their goals for the season. Even with an interim head coach and new quarterback, the Packers’ defense will still need to up their game to stop giving up big plays.
Green Bay has a positive turnover ratio (+20) compared to Kansas City (-3) this season, and the Packers should come out on top regarding turnovers at the end of this game, too.
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