MNF Game Plan: Chiefs must adapt attack on Packers

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Sep 13, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Kansas City Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton during the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Pass Defense Scheme

Randall Cobb has lined up in the slot on 67 of 124 snaps, roughly 54% of the time, through the first two games of 2015.  When running out of the slot on Monday night, Philip Gaines will draw the coverage as the Chiefs top inside corner.  It will be dangerous when Cobb moves to the outside and faces Fleming.  The Packers film review will show them that Fleming is susceptible to speed and sharp routes.  Expect them to take advantage of that fact and move Cobb outside more than usual.

Sep 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

There are two ways to help Fleming.  One is to move him around the field following the slower James Jones or the inexperienced DeVante Adams.  This would leave Gaines assigned to shadow Cobb.  That plan could prove successful but goes against the tendencies of defensive coordinator Bob Sutton.  He generally leaves his corners on one side of the field or the other.  Its not likely that Sutton will choose to have his corners shadow one receiver in Green Bay.

The better option is to shift to a hybrid scheme in the secondary.  Don’t run either zone or man, use them both.  The Chiefs defensive backs are built to play man coverage.   There is no reason to change that.  Augmenting that man coverage with safety help will protect Fleming and keep YAC gains to a minimum has to be the course the coordinator sets.  Sutton needs to shift to “2 Deep Man Under” coverage in the secondary.  Here’s an example.

The Seattle Seahawks found a lot of success in using this defense against the Packers.  The athleticism of the Chiefs’ secondary is well suited to doing the same.  Here, the scheme works well.   The coverage contains the receivers and allows the pass rush to get to Aaron Rodgers, just as the Chiefs hope to on Monday night.  While not Sutton’s forte, it is an effective scheme to challenge Rodgers.

Next: How to Attack the Pack!