How the Kansas City Chiefs can beat the Green Bay Packers
By Byron Smith
The Weaknesses of the Green Bay Packers
Despite the NFL being widely regarded as a “passing league,” teams with the most success this season are the teams that are running the ball. The run game has taken root in the NFL once again and Green Bay struggles with it on both sides of the ball.
Offensively, Green Bay is only averaging 99.3 yards per game, which ranks 20th in the NFL. That is on 179 attempts, which is the 15th most in the NFL. (The ranking could be higher, since two teams have played 8 games already and one of which, Washington, is within only seven attempts).
Green Bay’s running backs have been largely inconsistent as well this season, putting up strong performances one week and disappearingn the next. For example, the backs running for only 31 yards against the Eagles, but showing up big for 121 yards against the Cowboys, a far superior defensive line and linebacker group.
Defensively, stopping the run game has been a much larger struggle for the Packers. The Packers have allowed 799 yards on the ground this season, which ranks as the 6th most in the NFL, and 7th rushing touchdowns, which is the second most in the NFL. The 114.4 yards rushing per game that the Packers are giving up shows a lack of mobility by the linebackers, both downhill and horizontally.
This lack of mobility has not been limited to stopping the run, as they also struggle against tight ends. Green Bay has given up the 2nd most touchdowns to tight ends this season with 4, and the 10th most yards at 382 (Again, that rank could be higher with both 8-game teams above them). For a team that is built on pass rush, the inability to cover the tight end is a flaw that a good team should be capable of exposing.