Sunday, December 18, 2011

Packers vs. Chiefs: victory #14 on the horizon

The undefeated Green Bay Packers roll into Kansas City today for the last of this season's road games. If the Packers win, they will have gone undefeated in all their road games, which is something that has only been done a handful of times in the history of the NFL. (Or is it 2 handfuls? Look it up!) More importantly, it will give the Pack 14 wins on the season and secure homefield advantage throughout the playoffs. It will also set the stage for the final two home games of the regular season against Da Bearz and Lions. 16-0 is just a hop-skip-jump away.

But first, the Packers must dispose of the Chiefs. The oddsmakers have installed the Packers as 13-1/2-point favorites and with the over/under at 45.5 points.

What's to stop the Pack from getting a "W" today? There are always the lists that are put out about "10 things the Packers need to do to win, etc." Ya know, all they have to do is one thing: show up. Now, I don't say that to slight the Chiefs. They can play -- especially on the defensive side of things -- and if the Packers let them hang around long enough anything can happen. Kyle Orton is getting the nod at QB today. But in terms of offensive weapons, they just don't have much. Defensively, the KC defensive backs will have their hands full all day long even without having to cover WR Greg Jennings. The Packers are loaded at receiver and tight end and, obviously, present huge matchup problems for any team. Plus, the Chiefs have really been hit by injuries as well.

Of course, the Packers also have injury issues. Inactives for today just announced are: Graham Harrell, Brandon Saine, James Starks, Desmond Bishop, Chad Clifton, Ryan Pickett, and Greg Jennings. LB Vic So'oto and RG Josh Sitton are active.

Pickett's presence will be missed. The Packers have had problems stopping the run all year and that has been with Pickett having a good season. With Saine and Starks both inactive, that means the only two running backs active for this game are Ryan Grant and John Kuhn. Grant had his best game all season last week against the Raiders and Kuhn was his typical Kuhn-esque self late in the game. Let's hope they both hold up again today. The emphasis, of course, will once again be the passing game. Shocking, yes.

So, what's it all boil down to? That the Packers will come away with their fourtheenth victory of this season, 20 in a row going back to last year. An amazing run, and something not before seen in the history of the Packers. The players want to go 16-0 in the regular season, so I can't imagine them tripping up in a supposed "trap game" against the likes of KC.

I'm calling it Packers 41 - Chiefs 17.


P.S. A big congratulations to the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater football team, who Friday evening won their third consecutive Division III football championship, defeating (again) Mount Union, 13-10. It's a great college program and another winner in the fine Wisconsin tradition. Congrats, Warhawks!