The Kansas City Chiefs (1-1) hope to spoil the Green Bay Packers' perfect record on Monday night. Will Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs be ready to rebound from a tough loss, or will the Packers (2-0) roll to another victory behind Aaron Rodgers' powerful arm?
Here are three keys to the game for both the Chiefs and the Packers.
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1. Give Jamaal Charles some support -- and all the carries
Charles should be extra motivated (and hug the football extra tight) after last week's meltdown. Fumbles aside, No. 25 (91.5 yards per game) is still off to a fast start in 2015. They'll need their star to bounce back to keep the ball away from the Packers' offense.
2. Blitz from the Packers' right side
Packers swing tackle Don Barclay did an admirable, but unspectacular job filling in for Bryan Bulaga vs. Seattle. He'll get the unenviable task of blocking outside linebackers Justin Houston (3.0 sacks in two games) and Tamba Hali in Week 3. Kansas City they should overload that right side and force the Packers to communicate up front.
3. Pray Aaron Rodgers has an off week
Green Bay's quarterback is off to an otherworldly start (see: Green Bay's first touchdown last week against Seattle). Kansas City's defense will have to play a perfect game to knock No. 12 off in Lambeau. Luckily, with stars in the front seven and a blossoming ROY candidate in Marcus Peters, they have the personnel to compete.
1. Carry over defensive momentum
The Packers aren't known for winning games with their defense, but late-game takeaways are already a staple of this year's team. Linebacker Clay Matthews sealed a win over the Chicago Bears by picking off Jay Cutler in Week 1; defensive end Jayrone Elliot intercepted Russell Wilson and stripped Fred Jackson to help close out a win over the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday. Charles should be on guard after fumbling away the Chiefs chances in Week 2.
2. Slow Kansas City's pass-rush
The Chiefs will be coming for Rodgers. Although Rodgers is nimble and quick-witted in the pocket, the Packers must make sure Kansas City's vaunted pass rush (8.0 sacks in 2015) does not reach him. The best way to do that is to establish the run, but starting running back Eddie Lacy is a bit hobbled by an ankle injury. Green Bay will need James Starks to step up and take some handoffs, too.
3. Feed off the energy at Lambeau
Big things are happening in Green Bay, and the fans can feel it. Avenging the NFC Championship loss to the Seattle Seahawks was a huge weight off the Packers' collective shoulders. Now, they're playing a second consecutive home game in primetime on national television. The atmosphere at Lambeau Field should be electric when the Chiefs visit on Monday night -- expect the Packers to feed off it.