The Chiefs defense showed improvement, but is it enough to slow down the Packers?

The Packers have won seven straight, but they’ll be without quarterback Aaron Rodgers when they travel to KC to go against a steadily improving defense.

News broke that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers would miss his highly anticipated Week 9 matchup due to a positive COVID-19 test.

Second-year quarterback Jordan Love will make his first start of his professional career. Love was Green Bay’s first-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft after losing in the NFC Championship game in 2019.

This comes at a team where the Chiefs defense is getting more stops and allowing fewer points. In the last three weeks, the Chiefs defense has played better than through the first half of the season.

Against Washington in Week 6, the defense allowed just 13 points, shutting out the Washington offense in the second half. The next week the Tennessee Titans dominated on both sides of the ball, but the defense still held them under 30 points.

In Week 8 the defense allowed 17 points to the New York Giants. The defense has averaged 19 points against them in the last three games.

Through the first five games, the defense allowed 32.6 points per game. One contributor to this is rookie linebacker, Nick Bolton.

Bolton was honored with being named defensive rookie of the month of Oct. The University of Missouri linebacker leads the team with 66 total tackles, according to Pro Football Reference. A fellow Chief linebacker is starting to step up as well.

Chiefs linebacker Willie Gay Jr. has interceptions in back-to-back games. A nice streak after getting his first career interception against the Titans in Week 7.

This defense is starting to get healthy again. With defensive lineman Jones starting to get back in rhythm, Gay has emerged both in the pass and run defense, along with All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu.

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has shown to struggle at the beginning of seasons in Kansas City. But, over time, they begin to not give up as many points and get more consistent stops.

Their late-game stop against the Giants to stall their comeback drive was created by the pass rush. Which has been missing for much of this season. Defensive linemen Frank Clark and Jarran Reed paired with Jones finally showed the ability to perform well together.

It certainly helps that Rodgers won’t be available. This game is also at Arrowhead; one of the toughest places to play in the league. Love will have to come prepared, knowing the play calls cause it will be the loudest place he’s ever experienced.

At Utah State, Love struggled in his 2019 junior season throwing 17 interceptions with 20 touchdowns. Love will have to limit turnovers or their seven-game win streak will be in jeopardy.

The Chiefs’ defensive will still be matched up with some great offensive playmakers. Packers running back Aaron Jones and wide receiver Davante Adams continue to tear up the league.

With reigning MVP Rodgers, good luck with stopping them. The Packers may rely heavily on Jones in the run and short pass game to get Love comfortable. For Gay and Bolton, limiting Jones’ touches and effectiveness will be an x-factor matchup.

Adams is one of those special receivers you just hope to contain. Without Rodgers however, we haven’t seen much of those looks. The timing between Love and Adams will be something to monitor and watch since we have never seen it in the regular season.

With the experience of this Chiefs defense, most are returning from the deep playoff runs, which could play a major factor in this Week 9 matchup. The linebackers and secondary will need to communicate and execute their sets to contain Adams and Jones.

Creating pass rush pressure will be another factor into how well and comfortable Love plays. The question of ‘Who is Jordan Love?’ will have a clearer answer than it was previously.