A few weeks ago, NFL fans would have been circling the Packers vs Chiefs game on the schedule. Rodgers vs Mahomes was going to be fireworks until Rodgers returned a positive COVID test. Matt Lafleur has a 35-9 record thus far as an NFL head coach. He’s proven to call great games and this weekend could be his greatest test as a play caller without his star signal caller. Here are three predictions on how LaFleur will call the game on offense for the Packers.
Run the Ball
Last Thursday in Arizona the Packers ran 72 offensive plays. Of the 72 plays, 34 were runs. Since Jordan Love will be making his first start, look for LaFleur to stick to the ground game and control the clock. In the Cardinal game, AJ Dillon had one more carry than Aaron Jones. Expect a similar 50/50 split this Sunday. Providing the game doesn’t get out of control, expect the Packers to try to run the ball 60-70% of the time.
Jordan Love is big and athletic. When this years rookie quarterbacks have looked their best, they have been able to get into rhythm with short, quick throws. Love will be getting Davante Adams back this week. Expect LaFleur to get Adams the ball quickly and allow his athleticism to make plays for the Packers. In addition to short, quick throws, moving the pocket or allowing Love to roll out could allow the young quarterback to feel more comfortable.
If the Packers run the ball as much as we anticipate, running as many play action passing plays as possible will also take some of the pressure off Love. Mixing in some screen plays with Aaron Jones as well will keep defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and the blitz happy Chiefs team on their heels.
Coach em’ Up
Yes, Jordan Love is a professional and in his second season but he doesn’t have true NFL game experience. LaFleur will remind the young professional that he doesn’t need to be Aaron Rodgers or play hero ball. Love just needs to take what the defense gives him and live to fight another down. Getting the ball into the Packers playmakers hands early and often will help get Love into the flow of the game and feel comfortable.
The Chiefs own the number one ranking for total turnovers in the NFL so far this season according to statmuse. If the Packers defense can contain Mahomes and company, plus force a turnover or two, expect Green Bay to be in the game late into the fourth quarter.
If Green Bay can run the ball with success and control the clock, it will take a lot of pressure off Jordan Love. When the Packers need Love to be a passer, LaFleur will scheme people open quickly to ease our young quarterback into the game. Everyone knows that athletes have a large amount of confidence in themselves and Jordan Love is no different. There is an immense amount of pressure on Love from fans who are unhappy with him being selected in the first round of last years draft. As fans, we don’t need to add to the pressure and ruin his confidence. Temper your expectations and don’t lose hope if the first pass doesn’t get completed or go for a touchdown.