The Packers win streak came to a crashing halt in a hard fought 13-7 defeat against Kansas City. While Jordan Love showed so glimpses as to why he was a first round talent, Green Bay sorely missed Aaron Rodgers. The defense kept them in the game throughout, shutting down a potent Chief offense. The epic collapse of the Special Teams spelled doom for the team trying to steal a win without their all-world quarterback.
The Packers will look to right the ship this week at home against the revitalized Seattle Seahawks. Seattle will likely be be getting massive reinforcements with Russell Wilson and Chris Carson returning from injuries, so the Packers will be getting an energized team. Coming off their bye, the Seahawks will be well rested, prepared, and hungry to make a statement going into the second half of the season. Assuming Aaron Rodgers returns for the game from the COVID-19 list, the Packers will need huge performances from some key players to get back to their winning ways.
After a fairly quiet game in week 9, the Packers will need a major contribution from Davante Adams. Aaron Rodgers will have no actual practice time leading up to the game, so it’s likely that he will look to his most trusted receiver to jumpstart the offense. The Seahawks have struggled to stop the pass, in both having a limited pass rush as well as holes throughout their secondary.
Adams should be able to feast on a defense that is 28th in the NFL defending the pass. Getting him involved early and often will help Rodgers settle in and open things up all over the field. It wouldn’t be that surprising to see Adams have his first multiple touchdown game of 2021 this Sunday.
As one of the special teams’ captains, Mason Crosby represents all of the special teams units this week in stating that the Packers need a huge performance from them. Maybe not even a huge performance, but at least an ‘uneventful’ performance would be an improvement at this point. To start, all the kicking woes cannot be pinned on Mason; but from an execution standpoint, blocking, holding, and kicking all need to improve. The Packers cannot expect to consistently win games if their special teams are leaving points on the field each week.
Additionally, the return units need work. Whatever rules they have set for when to catch/return the ball or when to let it bounce needs to be recalculated. We’ve already seen one season ending injury to a returner bringing the ball out when it was clear he should have taken the touchback. Too many punts are allowed to hit the ground gambling that it’ll bounce into the end zone. If the Packers want to see improvement, this is the first place to start, especially with impressive Punter Michael Dickson coming to town.
Krys Barnes had his best game of the season against the Chiefs. He was flying all over the field and finally looks comfortable in the new defense. He also was not afraid of dishing out big hits, including a goal line stop that helped keep the Packers in the game. It’s clear that he is thinking a lot less, playing with his instincts and trusting his eyes. Coupled with burgeoning star De’vondre Campbell, the team has the best inside linebacker combination it’s seen in decades. They will need a massive game from Barnes again this week. Between a crushing run first offense and the ever-elusive Russell Wilson, Joe Barry will rely on his athletic linebackers heavily to counter.
Jordan is a lifelong Packer fan who grew up in Idaho and now lives in Seattle, Washington. You can follow him on twitter at @jordantwolf.