3 Keys to the Game: Packers vs. Chiefs

You can always expect a good game when the Packers play the Chiefs. Whether it’s the inaugural Super Bowl or a mid-season game in which Jordan Love sees his first regular season start of his career (an out-producing Patrick Mahomes), there’s always something to look forward to.

With this being the last game of the preseason, there will be a handful of developments to keep an eye on, all of which will dictate the game result. The three most important aspects will be covered below and should provide some insight into how the regular season/53 man roster will shape out.

1. Figuring Out the Safety Situation
The Packers carry one of the best secondaries in the NFL with three stud cornerbacks, the always underrated Adrian Amos, and hyper-athletic Darnell Savage roaming the backside. However, past those 5 players, there is real concern with the depth in this secondary – especially at the safety position.

Shawn Davis seems to be as close to a lock for the third safety as we’ve seen, but carrying just one depth safety will, and never should be, done in the NFL. Tariq Carpenter and Innis Gaines are both coming off injuries sustained earlier in the offseason and have yet to lock up a spot. Dallin Leavitt sustained what appears to be a serious shoulder injury against the 49ers and is in question, along with being a special teams wonder rather than a true safety.

One player to watch out for is safety Micah Abernathy. He’s made a handful of plays during camp and registered an interception in his preseason debut. With the amount of uncertainty at the position and his ability to make plays without sacrificing the fundamentals of the defense being run, Abernathy could find himself on the 53 come Week 1 with another strong showing tonight.

2. A Running Back Needs to Step Up
Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon are locked in as RB1A and RB1A and haven’t seen a snap all preseason. However, one of the most interesting position battles is taking place underneath them on the depth chart.

Rookie Tyler Goodson, second year Patrick Taylor and third year Dexter Williams are currently in all doing their best to showcase why they should be on the 53 come for Week 1 with Kylin Hill starting the year on the PUP. While there is no clear cut favorite at this time, Taylor and Williams will likely get the nod over Goodson, who was signed as an UDFA following the draft.

They both know the system and need to showcase that they can step up and be multifaceted if Jones or Dillon is to get banged up early in the season. If one of these backs can bust one loose, make a splash play or even just lock down the pass pro for a few consecutive series, I like the Packers to win this game and theat player to make the roster.

3. Edge Players Stepping Up
Kingsley Enagbare has played better and better as the summer has come along and another strong showcase should all but solidify his role as the #3 edge player on the defense. Other edge players such as Jonathan Garvin, LaDarius Hamilton, Tipa Galeai and Kobe Jones are all making pushes for the 4th spot after all competing well throughout the offseason as well.

The coaching staff likely has an idea of who they like most in the system but with a solid showcase tonight I truly believe anyone could grab the last spot on the edge. If one of these players can show up tonight and create some havoc in the backfield, he may find himself celebrating a preseason Week 3 win and sitting on the final roster.
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