The Kansas City Chiefs will face a watered-down version of the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night when they conclude the NFL preseason in Lambeau Field. With the Packers more focused on finding out if backup quarterback Graham Harrell can be an effective insurance policy for Aaron Rodgers, the Vegas oddsmakers have installed the Chiefs as a slight 1.5 point favorite on the road. The total (combined points scored by both teams) is set at 39, which is within the range of other games, which all fall between 37-40.
There will be some silly talk about whether the Packers want any revenge against the team that handed them their first loss of the season in Week 15 last December. Of course there’s no such thing as vengeance in August. The two teams are also marking the 45th anniversary of their meeting in the first Super Bowl, back in January of 1967.
Beyond talk of the recent or distant past, it would be nice—though not necessary—for Kansas City’s first string to play effectively in the couple series they will get. If nothing else, it would take away the black cloud of media and fan questions and give a little positive momentum going into the regular season opener nine days hence.
What is necessary is that Kansas City get out of this game healthy, something they didn’t do a year ago when tight end Tony Moeaki was lost for the year. To that end, I disagree with head coach Romeo Crennel’s decision to have linebacker Tamba Hali play his normal role. With Hali suspended for the regular season opener, this decision has to dual effect of putting Hali at risk while passing by the last chance the first-string defense has to play without him in a game situation.
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