Monday, September 28, 2015

The Packers Will Be Without Morgan Burnett Against The Chiefs

While the Green Bay Packers offense has been dominant (thanks Aaron!) the run defense has been the worst in the NFL so far in 2015 (according to Football Outsiders), and the injury to SS Morgan Burnett is not helping:
It's good to see that Lacy and Adams should play. But the drop off from Lacy to James Starks isn't as great as the drop off from Burnett to SS Sean Richardson. Starks was effective in relief against the Seahawks, but Richardson's looked a bit lost at times. Richardson's negative grade at Pro Football Focus is almost the same as Burnett's after two games, but Richardson's struggles have come in half as many snaps and he's not been playing through an injury. Burnett was great against the run in 2014, so his absence is a big loss when the Chiefs's best offensive weapon is at running back.

While RB Matt Forte was dominant on the ground in Week 1, the Chiefs aren't going to copy that game plan. Their head coach is still Andy Reid; who's never been known as a run-first play caller. But without Burnett, holding the Chiefs to under 4 ypc is probably a pipe dream. Burnett's loss combined with the season ending injury to LB Sam Barrington takes away the two defenders who were expected to be responsible this season for calling out the defenses. The duties have largely switched over to LB Clay Matthews, and while neither Burnett or Barrington are irreplaceable, their combined absence is sure to have some negative effect.

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