KANSAS CITY, Mo (WFRV) – The Packers defense knows the task ahead. Patrick Mahomes. Tyreek Hill. Travis Kelce. There’s a reason the Kansas City Chiefs have headed to back-to-back Super Bowls. And yet, this season the Chiefs are off. They’re 4-4. Mahomes leads the league with 10 interceptions. The offense has turned the ball over a league-leading 19 times. And yet the Packers know what kind of team they’re going up against. Especially on the Chiefs home turf, which is notoriously one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL. With that being said, here are five keys for the Packers defense in order for them to get the win over the Chiefs this weekend.
- Don’t blitz Mahomes – Yes, you read that right. Don’t blitz the man. Sounds counterproductive but hear me out. NextGen stats has Mahomes at a 117 passer rating against the blitz while only 109 against a standard rush. His yards per catch are also much higher against the blitz. And when you think about it, it makes sense. The man has made his magic on those plays where everything goes to heck in a hand basket and somehow he finds Tyreek Hill at the end of the rainbow. If the Packers can fill the secondary and make Mahomes stay in the pocket and throw downfield, it will be better if he has to improvise.
- Don’t get behind the sticks – The Chiefs have looked out of sync all season, and mostly because it looks like they can’t get in a rhythm. The Green and Gold will benefit if they can keep them in three and out situations and not let them get in a groove. You give Patrick Mahomes any chance to feel like Patrick Mahomes from the past two seasons? It’s not going to end well.
- Win the turnover battle – I talked earlier about how the Packers shouldn’t blitz Mahomes. I meant what I said. But pressuring him would also be advantageous. He has the most drop backs of any quarterback in the league and he’s also thrown the most interceptions of any quarterback while under pressure with five. While Mahomes is known for making playing with his legs, the Chiefs lead the league in turnovers with 19. If the Packers can stay calm, patient, and force Mahomes to play perfect football, the day should go their way.
- Shut down explosive plays – I feel like this is self explanatory, but when you have two playmakers like Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, it’s not something you take lightly. All it takes is one big play from either one of those guys to change the momentum of the game. Hill averages 91.9 yards per game. He’s the number one threat. Expect Eric Stokes to match up with him to counteract that elite speed.
- Be on the same page- This is crucial. The Packers have a young quarterback at the helm this week. The Packers defense needs to be on it’s A game in order to take some pressure off of the offense. Just playing smart, solid, penalty free defense will go a long way.