Three positives for Packers after loss to Chiefs in Week 9
It was an ugly performance that ended the Green Bay Packers‘ seven-game winning run, but it’s not all doom and gloom.
The Packers are still miles ahead in the NFC North and didn’t get blown out despite being without so many key players. They kept the game close and could’ve even won it late on.
After the loss, let’s look at three positives.
Packers defense was excellent
How about the Packers’ defense?
They’ve been impressive in recent games, including last week against the Arizona Cardinals. They had to play well to give Green Bay a chance against Kansas City, and Joe Barry’s unit was near perfect.
The Packers held the Chiefs to 13 points, and don’t forget that three of them were a gift from the special teams, setting Kansas City up with first-and-goal. The defense didn’t allow a touchdown after that turnover.
Green Bay allowed just 237 total yards of offense up against one of the league’s top offenses, and impressed on third down, with Kansas City converting on only five of 14 attempts.
Even without Aaron Rodgers, the Packers would’ve liked their chances pregame if you’d said they’d hold the Chiefs to 13 points.
Jordan Love improved late on
For the opening three quarters, it was a performance to forget for second-year quarterback Jordan Love in his first NFL start. The offensive line didn’t provide much help, it has to be said.
But in the fourth quarter, things changed. He suddenly looked comfortable, was accurate, and found a rhythm.
A key was throwing on time.
The only mistake — a costly one — was an interception in the red zone. The pass was high for Davante Adams, but still required an excellent play by L’Jarius Sneed to be intercepted. On the following drive, Love led the offense down the field before finding Allen Lazard for a 20-yard touchdown.
It proved to be too little, too late, but Love’s fourth-quarter performance was encouraging and perhaps something to build on.
Help is on the way
The Packers were without a number of All-Pros and Pro Bowlers in this one.
Aaron Rodgers, Jaire Alexander, David Bakhtiari, and Za’Darius Smith were all out. Kenny Clark had to leave the game and didn’t return.
But here’s the good news.
Rodgers could return next week against the Seattle Seahawks as long as he’s off the reserve/COVID-19 list. Bakhtiari is close to returning.
Defensive coordinator Joe Barry said earlier in the week he expects Alexander to return at some point this season.
Eric Stokes injured his knee in warmups and didn’t play, but head coach Matt LaFleur said he’s “hopeful” it’s not a long-term concern.
The Packers are 7-2 and have a lot of talent. And help is on the way once they get some key players back in the near future.