What We Saw: Week 9

James Conner can still be relied upon as an RB1 when needed

Packers @ Chiefs

Final Score: Chiefs 13, Packers 7

Writer: Josh Kurzer (@jkurzer52 on Twitter, jk303030 on Reddit)


The biggest story from this week’s Packers vs. Chiefs game was found off the field. After telling members of the press he was “immunized” against the coronavirus in August, Rodgers tested positive for the virus on Wednesday and was announced out for Sunday’s game. It was then discovered that Rodgers has not been vaccinated against the virus, even though he led the media and the public to believe otherwise. Rodgers explained his decision to not get vaccinated on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Friday, defending himself with a litany of falsehoods and debunked conspiracy theories about the pandemic and the vaccine.

All of this set the stage for Jordan Love‘s first career start for Green Bay. It was a less-than-inspiring performance from the 2020 first-round pick. Love completed less than half of his passes and threw for less than 200 yards. On the other side of the ball, it was another lackluster performance from the Chiefs’ offense. Mahomes threw for just 166 yards and did not complete a pass longer than 25 yards. Kansas City put 13 points on the board in the first half and held on for a 13-7 victory. Travis Kelce scored the only touchdown of the game for the Chiefs, and Allen Lazard was on the receiving end of Love’s first career touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter.


Green Bay Packers




Jordan Love: 19/34, 190 yards, TD, INT | 5 carries, 23 yards


Coach Matt Lafleur tried to execute a simple game plan to make things easy for Love, with a lot of basic reads and short passes to get the ball out of his hands quickly. Love averaged just 5.3 yards per attempt, shortening the field for the Kansas City defense. The Packers struggled to move the ball downfield, converting on only 2 of their 12 third-down attempts. The Packers could not have asked for a more friendly matchup for a young quarterback to play in his first career start. Kansas City’s defense has struggled all year but held Green Bay scoreless for 55 minutes of action. Packers fans better hope Rodgers gets back on the field quickly because Love is clearly not ready to lead that offense.



Running Backs


Aaron Jones: 12 carries, 53 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 8 yards

A.J. Dillon: 8 carries, 46 yards | 4 targets, 4 receptions, 44 yards


It was tough sledding on the ground for Green Bay in this one. The typically effective Aaron Jones was bottled up by Kansas City’s defense. Jones averaged 4.4 yards per carry but did not break a run longer than nine yards. Jones and backup running back A.J. Dillon were active in the passing game, combining for 6 catches for 52 yards on screens and check downs. The Chiefs were anticipating Lafleur’s run-heavy game plan and stacked the box, making life hard for the Packers up front all game long.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Randall Cobb: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 50 yards

Davante Adams: 14 targets, 6 receptions, 42 yards

Allen Lazard: 1 target, 1 reception, 20 yards, TD

Marquez Valdes-Scantling: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 19 yards

Josiah Deguara: 2 targets, 2 reception, 16 yards

Marcedes Lewis: 1 target, 1 reception, -1 yard


It was a poor all-around performance from the Packers’ offense on Sunday, and the pass catchers were on the butt end of it. Green Bay could not get any receivers open down the field and Love was limited to check-downs and short passes for most of the game. Davante Adams was targeted 14 times but only managed to haul in eight catches. Aside from Adams, Randall Cobb was the only Packers receiver to be targeted more than twice. Lazard scored the lone Packers touchdown late in the fourth quarter. It had no impact on the outcome of the game but was important to anyone who took a side on the seven-point pregame spread.


Kansas City Chiefs




Patrick Mahomes: 20/37, 166 yards, TD | 2 carries, -2 yards


It was more of the same from Mahomes and the Chiefs offense on Sunday, and Kansas City may now be in full-blown panic mode. Mahomes threw for a career-low 166 yards in the win and found nothing over the top all game. The Chiefs ran the ball 25 times, but the run game was not convincing enough to force the Packers defense to adjust from their shell coverage. I am still hard-pressed to believe the league has “figured out” a talent as special as Mahomes, though it seems he has hit a wall here in his fourth season as the starter in Kansas City. The most important thing is that the Chiefs got the win, and they will need all of the wins they can get if they want to make a late-season playoff run.


Running Backs


Darrel Williams: 19 carries, 70 yards | 4 targets, 3 receptions, 7 yards

Derrick Gore: 3 carries, 13 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 6 yards

Jerick McKinnon: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 26 yards


Kansas City’s rushing woes continued on Sunday, with their two running backs combining for 83 yards on 22 carries. The Chiefs did not break a run longer than 11 yards on the day, and the offense scored one touchdown. Teams want Kansas City to run the football, yet they still cannot control games doing so. The offensive line struggles to win at the point of attack and lacks the physical presence the front office attempted to acquire in the offseason.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Travis Kelce: 8 targets, 5 receptions, 68 yards, TD

Tyreek Hill: 13 targets, 4 receptions, 37 yards| 1 carry, -4 yards

Mecole Hardman: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 20 yards 

Demarcus Robinson: 1 target, 1 reception, 2 yards


The most eye-popping statistic from a Kansas City receiver is Tyreek Hill‘s four receptions on 13 targets. Hill could not get open down the field and was tightly covered on Mahomes’ short passes. Kelce caught Kansas City’s only touchdown, bringing in five catches for 68 yards in total. It was encouraging to see Kelce targeted extensively, this is something the Chiefs need to do more when facing two-high looks on defense. Until the Chiefs’ offense figures it out, Hill and Kelce will continue to disappoint.



Josh Kurzer (@jkurzer52 on Twitter, jk303030 on Reddit)

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