The Green Bay Packers are on an upswing in their 2023 season, securing three wins out of their last four games that includes an impressive performance against the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day at Ford Field. Dreams of the postseason inch closer with each week, and Green Bay has their sights narrowed in on the six or seven seed if they can continue the assault.
However, Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs presents a daunting challenge. Patrick Mahomes and his arsenal of targets are difficult enough to deal with already, but it’s the defense that will give them the most trouble. A young Jordan Love needs to be on his A-game when Chiefs’ defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo sends red jerseys through the gaps in packs.
Green Bay Packers Receivers Need to Start Firing Right Out of the Gate
The best solution for the Packers heading into their showdown against the Chiefs is for their star receiver core to get open as quickly as possible. Jordan Love can’t hold onto the ball forever when Kansas City blitzes more than most teams. He’ll face stunts from the defensive front, smoke and mirrors tactics from the linebackers, and sneaky blindsides from backside corners on occasion.
Adam Stenavich on #Packers WR's job in passing game against Chiefs blitz-happy defense: "You have to get open fast. That's the biggest thing. You can't take your time out there. You have to get open quick, because those guys are going after the quarterback."
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) November 30, 2023
Luckily for Love, the Packers have excellent route runners on the perimeter who can sprint into gaps in the defense in the blink of an eye. Jayden Reed‘s impressive speed has already proven himself a key component to this offense, and Green Bay will need his best performance to find the soft spots between the tight secondary and pursuing players in the box.
Romeo Doubs provides a good outlet for longer passes. If he can make a move to fly passed the corners in man coverage, Love can dump it out over the top no problem. The Packers have the talent to bypass defenders in the secondary; they need to create opportunities in the short game to set the tempo, force the Chiefs to adapt, and remain two-dimensional to allow their run game to take control.
The Chiefs specialize in collapsing the pocket in a matter of seconds, creating nightmares for young quarterbacks trying to decipher what a veteran defensive coordinator is throwing at them. Jordan Love will need to balance his pocket presence while keeping his eyes downfield for an open man to avoid a catastrophe in the backfield.
Kansas City is going to start the game hard and fast as their respect for Jordan Love remains high. Green Bay needs to be prepared to pickup pass rushers from all sides if they want a chance to compete with Mahomes’ explosive offense.