The ended an ignominious streak, and that's the best thing that can be said about their night. The looked every bit like a contender in a 38-28 win on Monday at Lambeau Field. led the way, going 24-of-35 for 333 yards and five touchdown passes.
The Packers' first two touchdown drives set the tone. Green Bay was in perfect balance in the first quarter, picking up 74 yards rushing and receiving, each, on its way to a 14-0 lead. At halftime, the Packers led, 24-7, and had held the Chiefs to just 79 total yards of offense. To that point, Chiefs quarterbackwas just 2-of-7 for 39 yards, 38 of which came on a big play by tight end .
Smith never really loosened up until late. After an ugly interception in the third quarter, Smith hit on a short pass to cap an 11-play, 80-yard drive. On the Chiefs' next possession, they went 89 yards for another score, this time capped by ' second touchdown of the game. The Chiefs finally hit a long pass when Smith found Maclin deep in the middle of the field.
The problem for the Chiefs was that the Packers' offense never really slowed down. In the second half, the Packers scored touchdowns on two of their first four possessions, both to, who had three total on the night.
If the Packers were ever vulnerable, it was after being forced to punt with just under six minutes remaining in the game. The Chiefs had just pulled within 16 points on their previous drive, technically two possessions after the two point conversion, and had the ball at their own 17-yard line. They went on a long touchdown drive, finding the end zone on an inside give to Charles on play No. 18. They may have sapped too much time off the clock, however.
After a failed 2-point conversion, just 1:24 remained for the Chiefs to mount a potential comeback. The Packers recovered the onside kick, then went three-and-out to give the Chiefs the ball with 19 seconds remaining.threw an incompletion, took a sack and that was that.
Three things we learned:
1) The Chiefs should try throwing downfield
Smith targeted wide receivers three times in his seven first-half passing attempts, and completed none. He completed one big play tofor 38 yards in which Kelce did much of the work. His only other completion of the half went for 1 yard.
Down 24-7 to open the second half, one might have thought the Chiefs would have tried to get the ball downfield to overcome a sizable deficit more quickly. Nope! Facing a third-and-13 on the opening drive of the half, Smith dumped a pass off to Kelce 14 yards from the first down marker. Kelce was tackled well short and the Chiefs punted.
Smith and the Chiefs seemed hesitant to throw the ball downfield, and it stunted the offense. Then for some reason after this horrendous interception ...
... the Chiefs' offense woke up. Kansas City scored touchdowns on three straight possessions, primarily by finding open receivers deep down the middle of the field. What might have happened if the Chiefs had made a better early effort to attack downfield, we cannot say. It couldn't have been much worse than what happened in the first half and early second, however.
2) The Packers shouldn't change a thing
Rodgers made another strong case that he's the best player in the NFL right now, but that shouldn't overshadow the Packers' complete performance in every other aspect of the game. The defense was stifling for the most part, holding the Chiefs to 79 yards in the first half. The Packers somehow have one of the deepest receiving corps in the league even withoutfor the season and for most of the night. and were a bruising 1-2 in the running game.
No, it's never good to overreact to one game -- or even three -- but the Packers are one of just six remaining undefeated teams in the NFL, and it's probably not a stretch to call them a Super Bowl favorite. Theand can argue they're stronger (the Packers play the latter in Week 16), but the Packers certainly made their statement.
3) At least the Chiefs got a moral victory
The streak is over! The streak is over!