4 Biggest Concerns for Green Bay Packers after Loss to Chiefs

Thomas EmerickSenior WriterDecember 18, 2011

4 Biggest Concerns for Green Bay Packers after Loss to Chiefs

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    The Green Bay Packers’ shockingly flat performance in Kansas City was eye-opening for more reasons than the 19-14 outcome, or Aaron Rodgers’ 235-yard stat line.

    More jolting was the way Discount Double Check got hit.

    With Tamba Hali and Co. occupying the backfield throughout Green Bay’s donut of a first half and much of the second, it seemed reminiscent of Rodgers’ shaky protection in 2009, which left wonder as to how long the QB could hold up.

    For the first time this season, Rodgers looked rattled.

    And this is only one of the major concerns for the now 13-1 Packers.

Offensive Line Injuries

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    Green Bay’s O-line made incredible strides down the stretch of the Super Bowl run which continued into 2011.

    However, with the loss of LT Chad Clifton early this season and today’s injuries to RT Bryan Bulaga (knee strain) and 2011 first-round lineman RT Derek Sherrod (broken leg), we may’ve seen the beginning of a regression for this unit.

    Rodgers suffered four sacks and took a few brutal hits. Little in the way of celebratory dancing or thrusting that swagger, more grimacing.

Wide Receiver Letdown

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    Greg Jennings’ knee sprain will likely keep him out until postseason, and it leaves wonder as to whether the Packers’ best target will ever be the same this season. He was certainly missed on Sunday, especially as Green Bay reached drop No. 6.

    The Packers may very well need a healthy Jennings to contend for the title.

    Injuries have ravaged the running game, and Ryan Grant is not a desirable feature back at this stage of his career.

    Also, Jordy Nelson has cooled off somewhat. It’s been five weeks since he’s hit 100 yards or five catches in a game.

Finley's Hands

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    Accounting for four of Sunday’s drops was...drum roll…Jermichael Finley.

    I guess the drum roll wasn’t needed at all. By the time any Packers fan got to “four,” they knew who dropped ’em.

    He’s the most overrated tight end in football. He’s big and fast but consistently comes up butterfingers.

    It’s a problem.

This Can't Be the Real Packers Defense?

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    I’m accepting that Dom Capers runs a scheme that takes chances and sacrifices total defense for turnovers. However, the following stats don’t even factor Kyle Orton’s 299 yards or KC’s ground march to kill the clock:

    Green Bay entered Week 15 ranked 16th in points allowed, 31st in total defense, 31st in pass yards and 13th against run.

    With a loaded defense that helped guide Green Bay to the Super Bowl, it’s hard to believe. Losing safety Nick Collins to injury and DL Cullen Jenkins to free agency ended up hitting Green Bay hard. Without wrecking mate Jenkins, B.J. Raji hasn’t been quite the same.

    The Chiefs’ 19 points don’t jump off the page, but the way Orton just jumped in to hit nearly 300 and the ease in which KC grounded out the win, just add further concern.