The Green Bay Packers received yet another stellar outing from quarterback Aaron Rodgers as the team improved to 3-0 on the season with a 38-28 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Rodgers completed 24/35 passes for 333 yards and five touchdowns. It was Rodgers’ fourth career game with at least five touchdown passes, moving him past Brett Favre for the most such games in Packers’ history.
Three of those touchdowns went to Randall Cobb, who caught seven passes for 91 yards. James Jones added seven catches for 139 yards and a touchdown of his own.
But it was not Jones or Cobb who got the Packers’ scoring started. Rookie receiver Ty Montgomery caught an eight yard pass from Rodgers on Green Bay’s second possession and dove into the end zone for his first career touchdown and a 7-0 Packers lead.
Cobb scored his first touchdown on the Packers’ next possession, and by the time the first quarter had ended Green Bay held a 150-3 advantage in total yards. The Chiefs got on the board early in the second quarter on the first of three Jamaal Charles rushing touchdowns to cut the Packers lead to 14-7.
Rodgers continued to use an up-tempo offense and a masterful hard count to Green Bay’s advantage. Numerous times throughout the game he earned free plays by drawing defenders offsides or snapping the ball with too many men on the field. Jones’ touchdown with a minute left in the first half came after Tamba Hali jumped offsides and gave the Packers a free shot at the endzone.
While the Packers held a 24-7 advantage at halftime and went up 31-7 following an interception by Sam Shields that quickly turned into Cobb’s second touchdown of the game, Kansas City refused to give up. The Chiefs infamous streak of 18 straight games without a touchdown by a wide receiver ended on a five yard strike from Alex Smith, who finished 24/40 with 290 yards, one touchdown and one pick, to Jeremy Maclin (8 receptions, 141 yards and a touchdown).
The Packers responded with an 80-yard drive that brought the lead up to 38-14, but Jamaal Charles rushed for two late touchdowns to bring the final score to 38-28. A missed two-point attempt on the Chiefs’ final touchdown and a clean Green Bay recovery on the ensuing onside kick effectively ended the game.
Green Bay was cautious with running back Eddie Lacy as he recovered from an ankle injury. He carried the ball just ten times but gained 46 yards on those carries, while adding 41 yards receiving as well.
Overall, the Packers defense played better than the final statistics indicate. Green Bay limited the impact of yet another elite running back, holding Charles to just 49 yards rushing. Maclin gained 141 yards on the defense, but most of the damage came after Green Bay had already held a 24-point lead.
The Packers won the turnover battle yet again as Rodgers extended his NFL-record streaks of pass attempts and touchdowns at home without an interception. The Green Bay defense got seven sacks, including two from Clay Matthews and 1.5 from Mike Daniels, and forced two fumbles (though Kansas City managed to recover both).
Green Bay also was efficient in the red zone, scoring on four out of five of its trips inside the twenty and all four of its goal-to-go situations.
The offense was effective for almost the entire night, and the defense played well until the fourth quarter. But at the end of the day, the Packers improved to 3-0 and remain alone in first in the NFC North. Green Bay travels to California to play the San Francisco 49ers (1-2) next Sunday.——————
Sean Blashe is a Packers fan who grew up in Bears territory and is currently a journalism and history major at Marquette University. Sean is a writer with PackersTalk.com and you can follow him on twitter at @SeanBlashe .