Chiefs’ scouting report: Packers will be without key offensive player on Sunday

Lambeau Field is one of the more iconic stadiums in the NFL, but it’s not a place the Chiefs have visited often in their history.

The Chiefs will play at Green Bay this coming Sunday, and it’ll be just their sixth regular-season game at Lambeau. The Chiefs last played at Green Bay on Sept. 28, 2015, and the Packers won 38-28.

That is the only time Green Bay has beaten the Chiefs at Lambeau, as Kansas City has a 3-1-1 record in Wisconsin.

Each week, I take an early look at the Chiefs’ next opponent, and here is a quick scouting report of the Packers, 5-6. Kickoff is at 7:20 p.m. Sunday, and the game will air on KSHB (Ch. 41).

1. Love, actually

Jordan Love, who inherited the starting quarterback job after Aaron Rodgers was traded to the Jets, opened the season with six touchdowns and no interceptions in the Packers’ first two games. A rough seven-game stretch followed, and it seemed the league may have figured out how to stop Love.

But he’s bounced back the past two weeks, throwing for 590 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions in wins over the Chargers at home on Nov. 19 and at Detroit on Thanksgiving.

This touchdown throw against the Lions was excellent.

2. Injury of note

Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones missed the Packers’ win on Thanksgiving after suffering a sprained MCL in his left knee in the win over the Chargers, per ESPN.

Jones, who has rushed for 245 yards in seven games, was not put on injured reserve. That means Jones is expected back this season but it’s not known if he’ll be ready to face the Chiefs.

Running back Emanuel Wilson was put on injured reserve after the Chargers game because of a shoulder injury, and AJ Dillon got the bulk of the carries in the win over the Lions on Thanksgiving.

The Packers’ rushing attack ranks 20th in the NFL.

3. Injury of note, Part 2

Wide receiver Romeo Doubs has been Love’s favorite target. He’s got 41 catches for 433 yards and seven touchdowns. Twenty-eight of his receptions have resulted in a first down.

Jayden Reed has 36 receptions and a team-best 497 receiving yards. Christian Watson had his best game of the season on Thanksgiving, catching five passes for 94 yards and a touchdown against the Lions.

But the Packers are without tight end Luke Musgrave, who was put on injured reserve after the win over the Chargers because of a lacerated kidney. He had 33 catches and 341 receiving yards in 10 games.

“I think he’s going to be a very dynamic player in time in this league,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur told of Musgrave. “He continues to get better every time he goes out there, so obviously a significant blow for us offensively, but just like we always talk about, it’s going to be opportunities for these other guys.”

4. Trouble with the run

The Packers are in the bottom half of the NFL with 26 sacks, but linebacker Rashan Gary is having a sensational season. He has a team-high 8 1/2 sacks and 16 quarterback hits. Fellow linebacker Preston Smith is second on the Packers with five sacks.

Green Bay is allowing 20.4 points per game, which ranks 10th in the NFL. One reason for the Packers’ success on defense is their ability to limit the damage when teams reach the red zone. The Packers have allowed a touchdown on 48.6% of opponent drives that move inside the 20. That ranks 10th, per Pro Football Reference

One area in which the Packers have struggled is stopping the run. Green Bay’s rushing defense is ranked 29th, as they’ve allowed 135.2 yards per game.

5. Slippery field

In the Packers’ 23-20 win over the Chargers on Nov. 19, a number of LA players had trouble with their footing. That included a key fumble by Austin Ekeler, who slipped near the end zone.

After Minnesota lost at Lambeau Field in Week 16 of the 2022 season, ESPN’s Kevin Seifert reported it “seems pretty clear that multiple people in the Vikings organization were irritated with how often players slipped on the Lambeau Field turf.”

That doesn’t mean it’ll be a problem Sunday night, but it’s something to keep an eye on during the game.