Green Bay Packers @ Kansas City Chiefs: The highlight of the weekend, even without Aaron Rodgers

It was the biggest game added as part of the extention to 17 fixtures, but if anything it got a little bigger this week following the Aaron Rodgers Covid-19 controversy.

The reigning NFL MVP had stated in the summer that he'd been "immunized" against Coronavirus.

But as it turns out, he had homeopathic treatment to raise his antibody levels and not had the vaccine as his statement had led people to believe.

Now comes the questions of whether he purposely misled the press and public on this issue.

What's more, there's also the question of how the Packers have been handling this situation. There are protocols unvaccinated players have to follow - rules that many believe Rodgers has not adhered to.

We'll find these out in due course, but what we do get now is the intriguing prospect of Jordan Love's first NFL start. The second-year QB was the controversial first round Draft choice that almost ran Rodgers out of Green Bay.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Jordan Love (10) warms up during a game between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lambeau Field on October 3, 2021

Love is just the eighth player to start at QB for the Packers since 1992. If the player shines against the Chiefs then that in itself will only serve to provide yet more questions than answers for Rodgers.

The 37-year-old has been huge for Green Bay, who are 133-64-1 with Rodgers and 6-11-1 without their star man. None of his previous stand-ins have been potential replacements which only adds to the intrigue.

Plus, Love has everything around him to succeed. His Packers team are in the midst of a seven-match winning run while the Chiefs continue to beat themselves up with turnovers stuttering the offence and penalties limiting the defence in recent games.

Love also has star receiver Davante Adams back to go against a weak Chiefs secondary, and in Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon has one of the better running back combinations in the league to lean on.

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur reviews plays on hi Microsoft Surface Pro tablet during a game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears on October 17, 2021

This is also a massive game for Packers coach Matt LeFleur, who is up there with the coaching greats in terms of his win percentages at the start of his NFL career, but always with the caveat of having Rodgers as his QB. Engineering a win against Mahomes without Rodgers will change all that.

KC go into the game as big favourites at home and without Rodgers on the opposite sideline. Nevertheless, the Packers have overcome adversity before and could well spring what would be a big shock given how important Rodgers is, and would be to any team.

Expect them to use a large dose of Jones and Dillon to keep Mahomes off the field and chew up the clock, and if that run game can succeed then short passes to Jones out of the backfield and the uncoverable Adams out wide will present themselves to Love - if he can hold his nerve.

This was one of the most eagerly-anticipated games of the season when it was Mahomes versus Rodgers, but losing the MVP from it in such circumstances has ironically made it even bigger!

Best bet in Green Bay Packers @ Kansas City Chiefs

Betting wise, despite the lack of Rodgers, I'm not too keen on backing the Chiefs for a wide-margin victory given the way they've been playing of late, and I wouldn't even rule out Green Bay springing a big shock.

Even without Rodgers, the Packers running game and presence of Adams means that they should still be able to get over 22.5 points (5/4) and their defence can keep a lid on Mahomes and company enough to keep this one close, so give these 7-1 visitors 6.5pts at Evens and I'm taking that all day.

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