With 56 seconds remaining in the third quarter, the Chiefs inglorious streak of no wide receiver touchdown receptions mercifully ended.
Alex Smith found Jeremy Maclin over the middle from the 5 and Maclin scooted into the end zone to cut into what would become a 38-28 Green Bay Packers victory.
Doves weren’t released, a trumpet didn’t sound nor was a game ball presented. But a symbolic sigh of relief occurred on the Chiefs’ side.
“The one positive,” Smith said. “We won’t have to deal with the receiver talk anymore.”
Maclin didn’t want to deal with it at all. Asked if was glad to have ended a streak that dated back to December 2013, Maclin wanted no part of it.
“Not even, man,” Maclin said. “We lost the game.”
In ugly fashion at that, falling behind by 24 points in the third quarter. But the Smith-to-Maclin connection worked to stop the freefall and help the Chiefs reverse momentum.
Not only the touchdown, but a deep ball that went for a 61-yard gain helped set up another score.
In Maclin’s best day as a Chiefs, he finished with 11 receptions for 141 yards. All of the production happened in the second half.
“It was nice to get the ball in his hands,” Smith said.
Maclin signed a five-year, $55 million deal to reunite with former Eagles coach Andy Reid and become the Chiefs top wide receiver target.
In the first two games, the passing game looked much the same as the pre-Maclin days with conservative throws, and no touchdown passes to wide receivers.
It took the Chiefs playing from a deep deficit to open things up and get Maclin involved in a big way.
Still, ending the drought that started after Kansas City beat Washington on Dec. 8, 2013, a day when Smith hit Dwayne Bowe for a 22-yard touchdown, didn’t satisfy the Chiefs.
“We didn’t make it happen,” Maclin said. “We had chances but you can’t get behind a good team like we did.”