Opponent preview: Reid makes Chiefs a winner
Since 2010, the Green Bay Packers have finished their preseason with a date against the Kansas City Chiefs.
For the two teams that met in Super Bowl I, the series presents familiarity along with historical relevance. Chiefs general manager John Dorsey, entering his second season, was a disciple under Packers GM Ted Thompson. Dorsey was the Packers' director of college scouting from 2000 to 2012.
Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, entering his third year, was an offensive assistant with the Packers from 1992-98.
It was the Chiefs' turn to host the Packers in 2015, but a scheduling conflict with the Kansas City Royals led to the break in their series. The Royals will host the Detroit Tigers on Sept. 3-4, when the NFL concludes its preseason schedule. With Kauffman Stadium next door to Arrowhead Stadium, the Chiefs and Royals share a parking lot.
The final preseason game could've provided valuable insight to both team's depth charts. While the Packers and Chiefs won't face each other in the preseason, their annual meeting will only be delayed three weeks.
The Packers' lone Monday night game will come Sept. 28 against the Chiefs at Lambeau Field. Certainly a different stage than a meaningless preseason game. Here's what to expect from the Packers' third 2015 opponent.
Team: Kansas City Chiefs
Coach: Andy Reid (20-12, third season)
2014 record: 9-7, T-2nd AFC West
Scoring offense: 22.1 points per game (16th in NFL)
Total offense: 318.8 yards per game (25th)
Scoring defense: 17.9 points allowed per game (2nd)
Total defense: 330.5 yards allowed per game (7th)
Series: Packers trail 3-7-1 (1-0 in postseason)
Last meeting: The Packers would've become the third team in NFL history to finish 16-0 if not for Dec. 18, 2011. That day, Green Bay traveled to Kansas City to play a Chiefs team that was 6-8. It was supposed to be an easy win. It turned into a 19-14 loss, the Packers' lone one of the regular season. The game was so odd; Chiefs quarterback Kyle Orton threw for 64 more yards than Aaron Rodgers. Orton's 104.1 passer rating was 24 points higher. The game epitomized the "any given Sunday" mantra players and coaches often mention.
Three things to know about the Chiefs
1. A good Reid: By the time the Philadelphia Eagles fired Andy Reid following 14 mostly-winning seasons, he'd worn out his welcome. Reid led the Eagles to four straight NFC title games, but only one Super Bowl and no championships. In a title-starved city, the lack of stock in their trophy case grew old. On a rebound, it didn't take Reid long to prove he's among the NFL's best coaches. Reid inherited a Chiefs team that finished 2-14 in 2012 despite a talented roster. With Reid, the Chiefs asserted themselves as a dangerous team in the AFC. In his first two seasons, they've only lost 12 games.
2. Still seeking revenge: Rodgers will have no shortage of motivation in September. He'll start his season against the Bears, his team's bitter rival. The second week will feature a rematch of the NFC title game against Seattle. In Week 3, all Rodgers will have to do is pay attention when the Packers defense is on the field. That's where he'll find Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, the first pick of the 2005 NFL draft, which is best remembered for Rodgers' slide to No. 24. Amazing to think how different the Packers' franchise might be had their two-time MVP quarterback been taken first overall that year, as many expected.
3. Getting defensive: The Seahawks get well-deserved respect as the NFL's best defense. They led the league in fewest points and yards allowed last season, and it was their second straight year doing it. But the Chiefs might have the league's second-best defense, as well as the best in the AFC. Kansas City finished tied for second with 17.6 points allowed per game last season, and its 330.5 yards allowed per game were seventh fewest. Oddly, considering Reid's history as an offensive coach, it's the Chiefs defense that has made the biggest turnaround. In 2012, the Chiefs ranked 20th with 356.5 yards allowed per game, and they were 25th with 26.6 points allowed per game. Before hitting their stride, the Packers' offense struggled to find a rhythm early last season. They'll be tested in both September home games this year.
Packers schedule glimpse
Week before: Seahawks, Sept. 20
Week after: at 49ers, Oct. 4
On the horizon: Rams, Oct. 11
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