The Green Bay Packers head into a Monday night tilt against the Kansas City Chiefs as the favorite to win the game at Lambeau Field. However, neither the Green Bay Packers nor Packer Nation should take this team lightly or underestimate coach Andy Reid.
Kansas City is considered a playoff contender. If Green Bay decides to take their foot off the gas pedal and decelerate, Monday night’s game on national TV could end up being a “trap game” for the Pack and a loss would be a huge letdown for Packer Nation.
In order to secure another win and send Packers fans home with gigantic grins glued to their faces, there are five green and gold keys the Packers must use to lock down a victory.
Key number one: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has to continue playing at an MVP caliber if the team is going to contend for the Super Bowl in 2016. Mobility is a huge part of his game. This aspect of Rodgers passing game was not evident in the NFC Championship Game against Seattle last year. There is no better quarterback than Aaron Rodgers when it comes to “throwing on the run.”
In other words, no bull, Rodgers calf was an issue last year. Without Jordy Nelson in the lineup, Rodgers needs to be nearly 100% injury free when he takes the field every Sunday in order for Green Bay to accomplish their mission. Protecting our quarterback and giving him gobs of time in the pocket is key.
Key number two: With Jordy Nelson out of the lineup the Green Bay Packers have to mix up the offensive formations in order to confuse opposing defenses. Last Sunday against Seattle, Green Bay showed a few of these new twists when they lined up Ty Montgomery and Randall Cobb in the backfield at the same time. Different offensive formations can create confusion, because opponents will not be able to distinguish who is the running back (if in fact he is a “running back”) and who is the wide receiver out of the backfield.
Let the team twist and let the fans shout—as loud as they can when the Chief’s offense is on the Lambeau turf. Who needs a “12th Man” when you have devoted, keyed up Cheeseheads—right?
Back to key number two, twists; if Cobb and Montgomery line up in the same backfield, opposing defenses will not be able to figure out which direction Montgomery and Cobb are headed. This will create highly advantageous and desirable mismatches for the Green Bay Packers; a schematic blueprint that could be very difficult for opposing defensive coordinators to plan against, if used by the Packers on a regular basis.
Finally, the biggest advantage of a four receiver set for Green Bay is that the Packers are fairly deep at the wide receiver position. The Packers receivers are sure handed, strong and excellent route runners. In other words, the Packers have plenty of athletic receivers to run this type of formation; therefore, they might as well use them to their advantage—and keep the Chiefs guessing as to who Aaron is going to go to on any given play.
Key number three: Jeff Janis has to earn the trust of the coaching staff and Aaron Rodgers in order to be a difference maker and help “spread the field out.” His speed is sorely needed to take a cornerback and safety deep down the field, which would open up the middle of the field for Randall Cobb, James Jones, Richard Rodgers and Ty Montgomery. Janis absolutely must get in the mix at some point during the regular season– sooner rather than later.
Key number four: Stop the run again. Jamaal Charles is a really good running back. Over the course of his career (2008-present) he has a 5.5 yard rushing average. If the Packers were able to contain Marshawn Lynch of the Seahawks they should be able to contain Charles, as long as they continue to pursue to the ball and fill the running lanes.
Jamaal Charles has a strong upper body and powerful legs. He does not have a serious case of “fumbleitis,” but against the Denver Broncos he did put the football on the ground costing the Chiefs the game. Over his 8 year career (including playoffs) Charles has fumbled 27 times losing 19 of those fumbles. Winning the turnover battle doesn’t always win football games, but it sure helps.
Key number five: Finally, the Packers have to walk out of Lambeau Field after the game on Monday night against the Kansas City Chiefs unscathed. Hopefully the injury bug has run its course, but don’t count on it.
With Jordy Nelson, Sam Barrington and Josh Boyd out for the year, “next man up” may be the Packers mantra all season. Do not be discouraged. The Packers proved “next man up” works and works well when they won a Super Bowl trophy in 2010 with many players out for the season with injuries. Let’s hope that’s not the case, but if it is the case-the goal remains the same: A Super Bowl 50 Vince Lombardi Trophy.
If the Packers can meet these five green and gold keys on Monday night they will beat the Chiefs by 10 points or more…guaranteed.
Until the next time…Go Pack Go!