Kansas City Chiefs @ Green Bay Packers
Tuesday September 29, 10.30am
Poor Kansas must have felt like they had their pockets pinched last week in that shattering last minute loss to Denver, in a game they’d dominated. The worst possible time then to face the Packers. Because having been beaten by a fading gunslinger, they will now face the very best in the business in the form of Aaron Rodgers.
The Chiefs unravelled last week when Peyton Manning went into the shotgun and started to look deep downfield. Well that’s a move that Green Bay’s quarterback has down to a tee. And with running back Eddy Lacy an injury doubt, Rodgers has even more excuse than usual to be looking for the deep ball (which often as not he finds). Rodgers has five touchdowns and no interceptions for the season so far and arrives fresh from a clinical dissection of the much-vaunted Seattle defense. So the Chiefs should hold no fear for him.
Kansas have much to like about them. A strong running game and solid defense. But their passing attack under Alex Smith carries no edge to it. There’s no threat of the deep ball. Smith just doesn’t have it in him. And that will allow Green Bay to keep their defensive focus close to the line of scrimmage.
Kansas need to get ahead early in games for things to go their way. Jamaal Charles is no good to them if they have to abandon the run and chase the game. So expect Kansas to grind it out on the deck early on. Green Bay by contrast will probably look to open this up as early as possible. Since returning to the Pack, receiver James Jones has been faultless, catching three touchdowns. I see no reason why Rodgers should start looking elsewhere now, and so at 11.5 he looks well worth a bet to grab the first TD here.
If Green bay do strike early, then this game could get away from the Chiefs. Lambeau Field is an intimidating venue and the (2-0) Packers have started the season in the sort of form which could see the (1-1) Chiefs become their third easy scalp. Smith’s lack of arm strength could be exposed if he starts trying to play catch up, with Green Bay’s secondary also good enough to jump on any errant throws and take them all the way to the endzone.
Green Bay (-7) to win on match handicap @ 2.34
Green Bay (-3.5) to win on first half handicap @ 2.16 or better
James Jones to score first/anytime touchdown @ 11.5
Green Bay points Over 27.5 @ 1.91 or better