Packers-Chiefs: How we picked it

Weston Hodkiewicz, Ryan Wood, Pete Dougherty, Stu Courtney, and Robert Zizzo
Packers News
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Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) runs with the ball against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City on Dec. 18, 2011.


Packers reporter


Aaron Rodgers doesn't make many errors regardless of where he's playing, but he's been near-perfect at Lambeau Field over the last three years. The Packers, who were 9-0 at home last season, haven't lost a regular-season home game in which Rodgers has played start-to-finish since Sept. 9, 2012. Running back Eddie Lacy and receiver Davante Adams likely won't be 100 percent because of the ankle injuries they sustained last Sunday against Seattle, but even a part-time presence would provide relief for the offense. Outside linebacker Justin Houston (46 sacks since 2012) could present problems for backup right tackle Don Barclay and the rest of the offense line. Alex Smith doesn't make many mistakes, but he doesn't make many plays, either. Oddly enough, the Packers never have beaten Kansas City at Lambeau Field. That changes Monday night.


Packers reporter


With Packers safety Morgan Burnett (calf) unable to play, this game could get interesting. Packers coach Mike McCarthy rightly labeled Burnett one of his defense's best players. Burnett, ruled out on Sunday, is probably the Packers' surest tackler and top run defender. Against Chiefs running back Jaamal Charles, a Burnett absence may be a problem. That said, this game boils down to two players who have been connected throughout the past decade. On one sideline, there's Alex Smith. On the other, there's Aaron Rodgers. The San Francisco 49ers chose Smith in 2005. Ten years later, I'll pick the 2-time MVP against a formidable Chiefs defense.


Packers columnist


The Chiefs look like a playoff team from here and have an excellent defense, starting with an outstanding pass rush with outside linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali. But they really could have used cornerback Sean Smith back from suspension this week, not next. The shaky playing status of Packers Eddie Lacy (ankle) and Davante Adams (ankle) and the absence of Morgan Burnett (ruled out because of a calf injury) could be big. Also, Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith probably won't do anything to lose the game. But chances are Aaron Rodgers will win it.


Packers editor


The Chiefs have had a long time to agonize about letting victory slip through their fingers against the Broncos way back on Sept. 17. They figure to be rested and ready, while the Packers could experience a letdown after their big win over the Seahawks. Elusive Jamaal Charles would be a major concern even without the additional motivation of having to atone for fumbling away the game against Denver. But no matter: The Packers have Aaron Rodgers, and the Chiefs' leaky pass defense was shredded by Peyton Manning late in that loss to the Broncos. After a sluggish start, look for the Packers to prevail.


News director


This is potentially a trap game for Green Bay, which is coming off an emotional victory over rival Seattle. But my sources in Kansas City say the DUI-related suspension of top cornerback Sean Smith will be too much for the Chiefs to overcome on the road against Aaron Rodgers. Also, Kansas City's nickel cornerback Jamell Fleming has been a disaster so far, and that bodes well for a Green Bay receiving corps that's a little banged up. Four-time Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles will cause the Packers fits, much like Chicago's Matt Forte did in Week 1, but it won't be enough.

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