Kansas City Chiefs at Green Bay Packers (-7, 49 o/u)
The Kansas City Chiefs (1-1, 1-0 away) let a win slip through their fingers last week, surrendering a touchdown lead in the final two minutes against the division rival Broncos. And when I say “slip through their fingers,” I mean that quite literally. After giving up the game-tying TD to the Denver offense with just 40 seconds to go, running back Jamaal Charles proceeded to fumble on the next possession and watched helplessly as Denver CB Bradley Roby returned the loose ball for the game-winning major.
The Chiefs are now in danger of falling two games back of the Broncos in the AFC West as they have to face the Green Bay Packers (2-0, 1-0 home) at Lambeau Field tonight (8:30 PM Eastern) on Monday Night Football.
The Packers were perfect at home last season and are 1-0 to start 2015.
They exacted some revenge in Week 2, finally getting the better of Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks (who had topped the Green Bay in three straight, including last year’s NFC Championship Game). The 27-17 win saw the team play well in all phases of the game, including, somewhat surprisingly, defending the run. The Packers held Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch to just 41 yards on 15 carries.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was efficient in the passing game, completing 25 of 33 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns, while James Starks, who spelled an injured Eddie Lacy (ankle), had 95 yards on the ground. Rodgers extended his impressive streak of not throwing an interception at home to 17 games. (His last pick at Lambeau came against the Vikings in December 2012.)
On the injury front, Lacy is listed as probable for tonight’s game, as is WR Davante Adams, who also hurt his ankle in the Seattle game. Offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga remains out with a knee injury. The Chiefs should field basically the same roster as last week. Tackle Eric Fisher is laboring through his own ankle injury but should be good to go.
There’s no question that the KC defense will be one of the better units that Green Bay sees all year. They were fifth in the league in sacks last year (46) and already have eight through two games this year. The Chiefs also boast a strong secondary, made all the stronger by the return of Eric Berry and the addition of rookie Marcus Peters. That said, no one has been able to stop – or even slow, really – the Packer offense at home of late. With the offensive line verging on dominant, Green Bay now has an extremely balanced O that can burn teams in myriad ways. Look for Lacy and Starks to get a ton of carries – keep the KC pass rush at bay – and the Packers to slowly but surely distance KC as the game goes on.
Pick: Green Bay (-7).
(Photo credit: Mike Morbeck (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)