Key play: The Chiefs actually forced a Green Bay incompletion on third down midway through the first quarter, but a penalty for having 12 men on the field extended a scoring drive that gave the Packers an early 14-0 lead.
Key stat: The Packers outgained the Chiefs 150 yards to 3.
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Key play: Facing fourth and 5 at their 39-yard line, the Chiefs did a nice job of executing a controlled rush on Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, who threw an incompletion. This stemmed the Packers’ momentum and set up the Chiefs’ first scoring drive of the game.
Key stat: The Chiefs had 37 passing yards by halftime on only seven attempts, and were outgained 304-94
Key play: The Chiefs ended their wide receiver touchdown drought with Alex Smith’s 5-yard touchdown throw to Jeremy Maclin.
Key stat: The Chiefs were one for seven on third down heading into the fourth quarter.
Key play: The Chiefs had a chance to cut the deficit to eight with a two-point conversion attempt with 1:25 left, but Smith’s pass sailed wide of the target.
Key stat: Smith was sacked a season-high seven times.
Player of the game: Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers was his typical brilliant self, completing 24 of 35 passes for 333 yards and five touchdowns.
Reason to hope: The Chiefs’ secondary will receive a boost this week when cornerback Sean Smith returns from this three-game suspension for a DUI arrest in June 2014. Smith is an underrated player — he was one of the league’s best corners last year, despite being snubbed from the Pro Bowl. He will be needed against Bengals star receiver A.J. Green.
Reason to mope: The Chiefs got jackhammered in the first half, and things don’t get any easier from here.
Looking ahead: The Chiefs have another road test on Sunday, this time against a solid Cincinnati team. The Bengals, 3-0, are coming off a good win over the Baltimore Ravens. They have made the playoffs four years in a row and are 22-10-1 at home since 2011.
| Terez A. Paylor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jamaal Charles was the only thing the Chiefs had going offensively in the first half, rushing for 36 yards and a touchdown in eight carries. He finished the game with 49 yards and three touchdowns in 11 carries, but two of his touchdowns came with the game out of reach. Quarterback Alex Smith racked up some yards on scrambles, but one was particularly ill-advised, coming on the last play of the first half when he should have been chucking it downfield.
The Packers seemed to have a bead on everything the Chiefs were trying to do through the air. The Chiefs’ assortment of packaged plays didn’t work, and they did a good job pressuring Smith. By halftime, the Chiefs only managed 37 yards through the air. And while they finally ended that embarrassing receiver touchdown drought in the second half — and finally started to get their passing game going — the game was effectively over by then.
Green Bay lined up in three-wide personnel and effectively ran the ball against the Chiefs’ nickel subpackages. This eliminated an interior lineman for the Chiefs, which was a strength. This, plus a knack for missing tackles, led to the defense’s demise.
The Chiefs switched things up some, replacing cornerback Jamell Fleming in the nickel with Marcus Cooper. It didn’t matter, since Cooper yielded two touchdown passes. The defense got a big stop early in the second quarter when it thwarted Green Bay on fourth and 5 attempt at the Chiefs’ 39-yard line, but Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers was simply too good. He made multiple big-time throws throughout the night and finished with five touchdown passes.
Knile Davis’ 54-yard kickoff return in the first quarter was a season-best, but the Packers’ return teams broke off some nice runs, as well. Nothing else really stood out.
The Chiefs didn’t do many things that worked offensively when it mattered, and while the defense had a few moments, it wasn’t nearly enough to stop a dominant Packers offense. Also, a penalty for 12 men on the field kept a first quarter Packers scoring drive alive, and the Chiefs were whistled for that again in the second quarter. That’s embarrassing.