Packers vs. Chiefs: Performances to watch

G Elgton Jenkins, T David Bakhtiari
G Elgton Jenkins, T David Bakhtiari

KANSAS CITY – The prime-time stage is nothing new to these teams. This is the fourth night game already for the Packers in the first half of the 2019 season, and the third for the Chiefs.

Here are five things to watch.

1. Protection and disruption: The Packers’ offensive line is playing some of its best football, as QB Aaron Rodgers continues to praise the unit. Rodgers has been sacked just seven times over the last six games. The Chiefs had only 11 sacks through their first six contests but then sacked Broncos QB Joe Flacco nine times in their previous game, though top pass rushers Frank Clark and Chris Jones have been ruled out on the injury report.

2. On the flip side: Last week against the Raiders, the Packers’ defense was held without a sack for just the second time this season. Four times this year, the unit has generated three or more in a game, and it would like to get back to its earlier ways.

3. Tracking tight ends: Travis Kelce is the Chiefs’ leading receiver by a pretty good margin, with 38 catches for 541 yards, putting him on pace for his fourth straight 1,000-yard season. Jimmy Graham is coming off his best game of the season so far, with four catches for 65 yards and a score, including a couple of improvised explosive plays.

4. Home-field advantage?: Curiously, both of the 5-2 Chiefs’ losses have come at Arrowhead Stadium, in back-to-back games to begin October. Meanwhile, the Packers are 2-0 on the road after not winning a road game in 2018 until their final trip of the year.

5. The backup plan: How much does Kansas City’s passing offense change with Matt Moore replacing MVP Patrick Mahomes at QB? Will the Chiefs resort to short throws to get the ball in the hands of their playmakers and look for yards after the catch? Or having seen the big plays the Packers have surrendered lately, will they have Moore take his share of deep shots?

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