The blueprint to HALOing the Packers’ is to “Master Chiefs.”
Put the corny Halo pun aside and the statement rings true. The Chiefs managed to slow down the undefeated Packers and limit them to only 14 points. The Chiefs’ defense had a simple philosophy, force the Packers to run the ball.
They chose to man up on every wide receiver using almost exclusively their nickel package. That left one linebacker in the box and one single high safety over the top against the Packers’ 4 wide and 3 wide/1 tight sets. That closed some of the windows for Aaron Rodgers and the numbers dictated that the Packers run the ball on early downs.
The Packers consequently ran the ball 18 times for 102 yards, an average of 5.7 yards per carry. Even with this success the Packers couldn’t bring themselves to rely solely on their running game and instead forced a lot of passes which fell incomplete.
Aaron Rodgers went 17 for 35 passing, less than 50 percent passing, for 235 yards and one touchdown. He averaged only 6.5 yards per completion. Compare that to his 28 for 46, 369 yards, and 4 touchdowns performance against the Giants on December 4th.
The Chiefs dared the Packers to win with their run game and deep passes. The Packers deep passes didn’t hurt the Chiefs because of the pass rush the Chiefs were able to achieve.
The Chiefs tallied 4 sacks, 5 QB pressures, and 5 pass deflections in that game. The other plays had pressure focused on the interior of Aaron Rodgers pass protection, which forced him to throw most of his passes towards the sideline. The defensive backs used the sideline as an added defender and forced almost perfect throws by Rodgers.
The Giants may not have the talent at the cornerback position that the Kansas City Chiefs possess, but they have a far superior pass rush and more athletic safeties.
If the offense remains as balanced as they have the past few weeks the Giants can win the field position and time of possession battles, which would mirror what the Chiefs were able to do to the Packers on Dec. 18th, they will leave Lambeau Field with a victory.