When the 2021-2022 NFL schedule was announced, I was looking forward to the matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs because they’re two of the “powerhouses” in the league. Also, it was supposed to be the first time that Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes got to face off in a game.
Unfortunately, none of those things are true. The Chiefs are 4-4 and have been super underwhelming this year, and Aaron Rodgers is out of the game due to testing positive for COVID. The game is still going to be a big matchup though, especially given it will be the first start for prodigy Jordan Love.
Here are three Chiefs players that the Packers need to stop in order to ensure victory in Week 9.
1. C Creed Humphrey
Creed Humphrey has been the best center in football this year. In studying some Chiefs film this week, Humphrey jumps off the page in both run and pass blocking and has some very good qualities that rookies don’t typically possess.
Humphrey will have arguably his toughest test this week when he faces Kenny Clark for a good majority of snaps. I have faith that Clark will win a good chunk of the matchups, but I expect Humphrey to cause at least some disruption.
2. WR Tyreek Hill
Tyreek Hill will always be a player to keep your eye on, but as the Chiefs continue to flounder, I think more targets will be coming his way.
Here’s an interesting stat: When Hill has at least 75 receiving yards, the Chiefs are 4-0. When he flies under that yard mark, the team is 0-4. In other words: Tyreek Hill wins football games for the Chiefs.
There probably isn’t a cornerback in the league, let alone on the Packers, that could match up with the raw amount of speed that Hill provides. But, if the Pack plays physical with Hill at the line of scrimmage and slows him down – I could see the team containing him.
3. TE Travis Kelce
It’s hard to cover Travis Kelce, but the Packers don’t need to focus on that solely. If the team plays physical, defends some live passes, and forces a few drops out of Kelce – I think the Pack can score a victory.
Another interesting stat: When Kelce has a catch percentage of 63% or less, the Chiefs are 0-3 in 2021. In all three of those losses, Kelce was targeted at least 10 times – meaning Patrick Mahomes was forcing the ball to him consistently. If Hill is taken away, as previously mentioned, Mahomes will focus on Kelce and that’s not always a good thing.