Rapid Reaction: Chiefs 19, Packers 14
December, 18, 2011
By Kevin Seifert | ESPN.com
KANSAS CITY -- Some thoughts on a historic day at Arrowhead Stadium:
What it means: The Packers lost for the first time in 364 days, snapping a streak of 19 consecutive victories that ended two short of tying the NFL record. They missed a chance to clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs, but at 13-1, they could secure it as early as Monday night if the San Francisco 49ers lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Still, injury concerns on the offensive line figure to be a big part of the football discussion in Green Bay this week.
Controlled: The result was no fluke. The Packers briefly led 7-6 in the third quarter but the Chiefs controlled this game for most of the afternoon. The Chiefs' offense controlled the ball for more than 37 minutes, punted only twice and got a 299-yard performance from quarterback Kyle Orton in his first start. They ground up yardage against the Packers' defense all afternoon and finished with 442 total yards.
RodgersWatch: Sunday was the worst game of the season for the Packers' passing game. I counted at least half a dozen drops, and quarterback Aaron Rodgers & Co. clearly had a hard time adjusting to life without receiver Greg Jennings. It was the first time all season Rodgers has completed fewer than half of his passes.
Missed challenge: Should Packers coach Mike McCarthy have challenged a key play midway through the fourth quarter, one that ultimately led to a Chiefs field goal? On the play, Chiefs tight end Leonard Pope appeared to fumble into the end zone at the end of a 33-yard reception. McCarthy decided against a challenge, but former NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira said via Twitter that the call would have been overturned on review and the ball awarded to the Packers. It might not have made an impact on the outcome, but you never know.
Injury report: The Packers finished the game with right guard T.J. Lang playing right tackle after injuries to starter Bryan Bulaga (knee) and backup Derek Sherrod (leg). Evan Dietrich-Smith replaced Lang at left guard, meaning the Packers had only two players -- center Scott Wells and right guard Josh Sitton -- in the positions they opened the season at.
What's next: Merry Christmas. The Packers will host the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field next Sunday night.