The Postseason is the framework in which reality usually reaches several teams and in the Wild Card Round, the identity of several was unmasked and now it is the turn of the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers to show who they really are.
Last weekend, the reality of the level of their defenses reached the Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks, while the true offensive face of the Chicago Bears was exposed before a solid defense and the Pittsburgh Steelers showed that their record of 12-4 in regular season it was based on a start with 11 victories over teams of poor level.
For their part, the teams that finished with the first seeding in their conferences arrive with contrasts in relation to the personalities they showed during the regular calendar. While the Packers were more regular on offense and defense and have a more defined identity, the Chiefs improved in some respects, but in the final stretch of the regular schedule, they showed irregularity in others.
Leading the Packers attack, Aaron Rodgers had one of the most efficient and productive seasons of his career and is a clear favorite to win the NFL Most Valuable Player award for the third time in his career, but in addition to his skills he is the solid work of his offensive line, which was the best in the league in protecting the quarterback in relation to the percentage of victory in blocks (blocking the defender for 2.5 seconds or more).
Without being perfect, Green Bay’s offensive line has done a good job of keeping the pressure off Rodgers, who suffered 20 of the 21 sacks allowed by his front line in regular season and that, added to the speed with which he throws ( release), complicates the defensive linemen’s attempt to at least rush it.
There is no rival more dangerous than the one who succeeds in what you already know he will do and the Packers are proof of that with a Rodgers who connects with their main weapon, Davante Adams, despite the defenses preparing to prevent it.
That’s the identity of the Packers – a team that is defined by Rodgers’ success on the field.
In the Divisional Round, the Packers may face the biggest challenge of the season when facing the solid defense of the Los Angeles Rams, which has as its introduction the pressure of its front line, capable of creating chaos in the efficient backfield of Green Bay .
For their part, we know that the Chiefs are perhaps the most explosive team in the league. They’ve shown they can score in bulk when they put their mind to it, but regardless of the last game of the regular season, in which several starters, including quarterback Patrick Mahomes, did not play, the Kansas City offense has shown only glimpses of its ability. .
In his Week 15 and 16 games against New Orleans and Atlanta, and although he scored 32 points against the Saints, the Mahomes-led offense struggled to find the end zone and the Falcons’ defense, one of the worst in the league, he limited the Kansas City attack by 17 points.
During the second half of the regular schedule, the Chiefs gave the sensation of playing according to the level of the rival in front of them and the seven consecutive games with wins with six or less points of difference prove it. On the other hand, when the rival demands it, the Chiefs seem to find a way to power up and come out with the victory, as evidenced by their streak of 14 victories, including Playoffs, against teams that go into the duel with a winning mark.
The identity of the Chiefs is that of a team with an explosive offense, but in recent weeks, that attack seems out of sync and they need to recover it to counter the team’s greatest weakness, the defense against the run, which must face the powerful and productive running game for the Cleveland Browns.