GREEN BAY – Good seasons for the Packers often go through Arrowhead Stadium.
There’s no real rhyme or reason for it, it’s just true, and the results have been mixed.
Back in 1996, the Packers were 8-1 before a loss at Kansas City started a mini two-game losing streak Green Bay bounced back from to eventually go all the way.
Then in 2011, the defending Super Bowl champion Packers were undefeated at 13-0 and taking a 19-game winning streak into their last road game of the season. But they succumbed to interim coach Romeo Crennel’s Chiefs, the first sign that year was not ending the way the Packers hoped.
In between those was the good news, in 2007, when the 6-1 Packers went to Arrowhead and rallied furiously in the final five minutes to turn a six-point deficit into an 11-point triumph and get to 7-1. Historically, it was Green Bay’s first and still only victory at Kansas City in six tries dating back to 1977.
The 2019 Packers have the exact same record the ’07 crew did for this trip, so that’s the scenario to latch onto. But there’s no doubt the Chiefs have been a Packers nemesis over the years, more so than any other infrequently seen opponent.
Since beating Kansas City in Super Bowl I, the first meeting between the franchises, Green Bay is just 3-7-1 in this matchup, a .318 winning percentage that ranks as the Packers’ worst against any team in the entire league.
Two of those three wins have come in the last three meetings – the Packers won at Lambeau in ’15 along with the ’07 road victory – so the tide has been turning, but still. To continue the trend against a team that was an eyelash from the Super Bowl last year and in a venue that hasn’t been kind will be no easy task, even with Chiefs’ MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes sidelined.
The biggest difference this time is the Chiefs are a Super Bowl contender, which they weren’t in ’96, ’07 or ’11. That’s going to create an even more challenging atmosphere at a stadium already known for being difficult, and under the lights to boot. The crowd will be juiced to support its Mahomes-less team to keep the Super Bowl aspirations on track against an NFC contender.