Sunday, November 04, 2007

Packers - Chiefs Preview

We're just a few hours away from the kickoff in KC. The Pack are on the road against an AFC opponent for the second week in a row. It was a short week for them, too, coming off the Monday night OT win in Denver. And again they find themselves going into one of the loudest venues in the league and the last NFL city in which Brett Favre has yet to win a game. Let's just hope the Denver victory is a precursor to get that last monkey off Brett's -- and the Pack's -- back.

All this leads to the Packers being 2-point underdogs, despite them being 6-1 and the Chiefs being 4-3.

So, what to expect? The Packers' defensive line is going up against a weak KC O-line. Aaron Kampman and the others on that emerging D-line should be able to tee off all day long. Damon Huard is the QB. Yawn. TE Tony Gonzalez has to be kept in check, but with pressure on the QB that should do-able. RB Larry Johnson is a pounder and can cause damage if he gets room to get going. The way the Pack D-line and linebackers have been playing, that shouldn't happen. On the other side of the ball, though, the Chiefs have Jared Allen at defensive end. He's quick off the ball, and could give LT Chad Clifton problems if he's not on his game. At worst, there could be sacks aplenty, as well as false start penalties as Cliffy tries to gain position as quickly as possible.

As for what the Pack has to offer in this game, Koren Robinson will be on the field for the first time in more than a year, returning kicks. Whether he sees time at receiver or not is still undetermined, but it seems likely especially if the Packers go to 4 receiver sets. Expect Brett's growing chemistry with young receivers Greg Jennings and James Jones to be on display. And let's not forget ol' Double D, Donald Driver, who could also have a big day. TE Donald Lee could also help open the middle and stretch the field...something that has already earned him contract renewal talks. As for the running game, Ryan Grant will be able to show whether his 104 yards against the Broncos was merely a fluke or whether he is the real deal.

The Packers have the better team. The Chiefs have the definite home field advantage. If the Packers can get up early and take the crowd out of the game that will help considerably. Take the Pack to beat the spread and win this game.