A-aron has tested positive for COVID, possibly lied about his vaccination status (or, as he put it, immunization status), and the Packers are heading to Arrowhead without the reigning MVP.
Jordan Love has been the subject of a lot of conversation in Green Bay since he was drafted in 2020 – both good and bad. The front office of the Packers saw their future in the Utah State product, but Aaron Rodgers wasn’t quite as optimistic about the pick. So much so that it (more than likely) was part of what prompted him to go on an extended summer vacation in 2021, grow his hair out, and caused more heart problems than a combination of beer and fried cheese. The Packers took Love with the 26th pick in the 2020 draft for good reason – he’s a big (6’4”, 225), athletic QB who impressed scouts with his arm and ability to move in and outside of the pocket. While we don’t know much about his ability to play in the NFL (his only career appearance was Week 1 of this year when the Packers were being blown to smithereens by the Saints where he went 5 of 7 for 68 yards), we know he’s not the defending MVP. But that doesn’t mean that this is going to be a walk in the park for the Chiefs. Here’s what we know about the second year signal caller :
- Played in 2 of the Packers 3 preseason games this year
- 8/14 vs. Houston – 12 of 17, 122 yards, 1 TD, 1 fumble
- 8/28 vs. Buffalo – 12 of 18, 149 yards, 1 INT
Smallest, least telling sample size I can think of having on a QB in quite some time. We know he’s got a turnover for each start, and a little over 10 yards per completion. So, we basically know nothing. JP tweeted this at me earlier, and I had been thinking the same thing – last time this happened to us the Chargers doctors stabbed Tyrod Taylor through the lung, and we got introduced to Justin Herbert. Now, do I think Jordan Love is at Justin Herbert’s level? That’s a no for me dog. But the element of surprise is there. The Chiefs defense has never seen Love, and has very, very little film to evaluate to get a feel for tendencies, strengths, weaknesses, etc. The good news is we found out on a Wednesday this time, not under an hour before kickoff like our first dance with Justin Herbert.
The news of Rodgers positive COVID test swung the line in this game massively. The Chiefs opened at -1 at home, which would have more than likely swung in the Packers favor by Sunday as there was a flurry of action on the Packers early, before the discount double check was applied. When the Rodgers news broke, the line moved from Chiefs -1 to Chiefs -7.5. Oddsmakers inevitably trying to push the public to bet the Chiefs, but leaving enough of a carrot dangling with the 7+ points spread (7 points is the second most common margin of victory in the NFL, behind only 3 points) for folks who still fancy betting the Pack in this game.
The Packers won’t come to Arrowhead with an empty arsenal, though. All 3 receivers who missed the team’s showdown with the previously undefeated Arizona Cardinals (Devante Adams, Marquez Valdez-Scantling, and Allen Lazard) should be available for Green Bay to accompany Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon out of the backfield. Green Bay has also been keeping one roster move extremely quiet this week – All Pro left Tackle David Bakhtiari will likely return this week to face the Chiefs. Bakhtiari tore his ACL towards the end of last season, and has been hanging out on the PUP list to start 2021. His roster exemption expires today, and he’s been practicing for the last 3 weeks. It’ll be interesting to see if our new number 24 (the jersey number Melvin Ingram was wearing today in his first practice as a Chief) gets any reps against the beer guzzling Milwaukee Bucks super fan.
Should the Chiefs cover 7.5? That is tough to tell. They’re the second worst in the league in covering the spread since the beginning of 2020, only better than the Jets, and are 3-15-1 ATS in their last 19 games. Not great, but the silver lining is certainly in the fact that games are not decided by covering or not covering the spread. One thing is certain – if we have a balanced offensive attack (run the damn ball, please), and the secondary does not all try to impersonate a certain teammate whose name rhymes with Stan Borensen, we should be in pretty good shape. I’ll be breaking down the game further later on this week with the official pre-game prediction column. Until then, rest easy Chiefs Kingdom. Only 4 more sleeps til Sunday.
By: La Charles