Packers-Chiefs matchup of the day: Friday

Posted Dec. 16, 2011 @ 12:46 p.m.
Posted By Dan Arkush

Packers RBs Ryan Grant and John Kuhn vs. Chiefs LB corps

Grant almost immediately set the tone in Green Bay's 46-16 rout of the Raiders last week with a 47-yard TD romp, his longest run since Dec. 27, 2009, and the Packers would no doubt love for him to burst out of the chute in similar fashion this Sunday. With James Starks (ankle) and rookie Brandon Saine (concussion) expected to miss the game after not practicing at all so far this week, Grant and FB Kuhn could be the lone backs for the Packers this Sunday. Grant and Kuhn each had 10 carries last week and came through with strong efforts with 85 yards and 46 yards rushing, respectively. Grant, who has pretty fresh legs right now with his usage scaled back much of this season in favor of Starks, had two TDs.

The Grant-Kuhn duo could be effective again this Sunday against a Chiefs run defense that is ranked a lowly 26th in the league and has allowed at least 151 yards rushing in six games this season, including 159 to the Jets last week in a 37-10 loss. K.C.'s primary run defenders are ILBs Derrick Johnson and Jovan Belcher, who lead the team in tackles with 112 and 74, respectively. Johnson (team-leading 12 tackles, two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery vs. the Jets last week) is having an excellent season. Johnson has superior athleticsm, top-flight speed and has improved his toughness. Belcher is undersized but makes sure opposing RBs remember his hits.