KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Whatever defensive game plan the Kansas City Chiefs may have devised, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 this week.
There’s no way they would have blitzed the cunning MVP the way they did on Sunday in their grasp.
However, a new plan full of pressure worked against Jordan Love. The Chiefs brought down the heat almost every time, and the Packers were unable to contain it until the fourth quarter. Kansas City won 13–7, breaking Green Bay’s seven-game winning streak.
“I thought our defense did a good job. We didn’t hold back,” said head coach Andy Reid. “The guys played hard and aggressive, and you’ve seen things happen when teams are favored . You have to endure each week in the best way you can. “
Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, making the three-time All-Pro . was forced To miss his first game after the 2017 season. love answered Going 19 of 34 for 190 yards with touchdowns and interceptions, both coming into the fourth quarter as the Packers tried to rally from a 13-0 deficit against the defending AFC champs.
Love’s touchdown pass to Alan Lazard with 4:49 gave him a chance. But Patrick Mahomes hit Tyrek Hill on third and -10 near midfield, with less than two minutes left, allowing the Chiefs to run out of clock.
“Aaron had the experience to get you out of some situations,” said Packers coach Matt LaFleur, “but you know, so I think when you have a young quarterback, you have a coach.” As should be the right plan. … I guess it falls to me that there isn’t enough planning to go against that pressure, especially with a young quarterback.
Patrick Mahomes was just 20 of 37 for 166 yards – his lowest in a full game in his career – with a touchdown pass to Travis Kells. And while the Chiefs (5-4) managed just 237 yards of total offense, that was enough to rise above .500.
“I think we’re close,” Mahomes said. “You can see drives here and there where we are the team that everyone knows and loves, but you have to do that consistently in every single drive in a game. We just aren’t executing.”
The Packers (7-2), who have been 6-12-1 without Rodgers since 2008, managed only 301 yards of offense.
More than any quarterback or offense, however, the difference in the first half belonged to Green Bay’s special teams.
Mason Crosby made a 40-yard field-goal effort in the first quarter. He had blocked 37-yards in the second period. And when the Packers punt later in the half, one of their downfield blockers accidentally touched the ball with his toe and the Chiefs recovered, eventually converting it into a chip-shot field-goal.
The Packers did almost the same thing when Amari Rodgers muffed another punt at the start of the second half.
The officers were not a whole lot better. He whispered on the punt of the first half – it took the Chiefs challenging the call to reverse it – and referee Shaun Smith had to stop the game several times to adjust the clock.
This probably would have ruined any offensive flow if the Chiefs and Packers had not done it on their own.
The Chiefs, whose high-flying offense turned heads on the way to three straight AFC title games, went three-out on his first two drives of the second half. The Packers also went three-out to start the second half, then watched as Love was dismissed by Tyrone Matthews to force a punt on his next possession at third down.
Green Bay finally mounted a solid campaign at the start of the fourth quarter, when Love completed seven straight passes. But after back-to-back imperfections, Love threw a pass towards Davante Adams – who came back from his own positive COVID-19 test last week – which was shot near the Kansas City goal line by L’Jarius Sneed. was chosen.
The Packers scored in their next campaign, but the Chiefs made sure it was too late.
“I think we ended up having a better answer for them in the end,” Love said, “but yeah, they were bringing it all up on defense. They were warming us up. We put on those plays. We couldn’t do what was against us. If we had a big drama, maybe we wouldn’t see it that much and things would have been different.”
A-ROD . Support for
There was considerable support for Rodgers in the Arrowhead Stadium crowd. Not only was the number 12 jersey plentiful, one fan had a sign on his hand that read, “We Stand With Rodgers.” The embattled quarterback has been sharply criticized For claiming to be “immune” against COVID-19 despite never having been vaccinated. Rodgers also caught the attention of many people this week For a free-wheeling interview in which he claimed to be “in the crosshairs of a just-awake crowd”.
Packers: CB Eric Stokes was ruled out in the first quarter with a knee injury. DL Kenny Clarke had to be helped with a back pain in the second quarter, and LG John Runyon joined him in the locker room a few minutes later with illness.
Chiefs: RT Lucas Niang hurt his ribs in the first half. He was already starting in place of Mike Remmers (knee), forcing third-stringer Andrew Wyllie to end the game.
Green Bay returns home to face Seattle on Sunday.
Kansas City visits Las Vegas on Sunday nights.
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