Green Bay Packers linebackerNate Palmer
(51) and safetyHa Ha Clinton-Dix
(21) breaks up a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks tight endLuke Willson
(82). Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
3) Nate Palmer/Micah Hyde vs. Travis Kelce
For the third week in a row the Packers defense will have to guard a Pro Bowl tight end. In week one, Martellus Bennett gashed them with five receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown. However, Green Bay responded well in week two, containing Jimmy Graham to only one catch for 11 yards.
Travis Kelce is every bit the athlete and receiving threat as Graham. Towering at 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, Kelce causes mismatch problems over the middle of the field. He’s already recorded 10 receptions for 164 yards and two touchdowns this season. He is easily the Chiefs’ most dangerous weapon in the passing game.
The Packers will more than likely use nickel back Micah Hyde on Kelce in obvious passing situations, but Green Bay will also have to rely on inside linebackers, Palmer and Matthews, to shadow the athletic tight end in coverage.
With Morgan Burnett questionable for Monday’s game, Hyde might get more playing time at safety, meaning rookie Damarious Randall will take snaps as the nickel back and might be responsible for covering Kelce.
If the Packers can limit the looks Kelce gets in the passing game, then they can take away the Chiefs’ best chance of pushing the ball down the field.
Next: #4. Can the Packers get the running game going?