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Final score: Defense carries Chiefs to 13-7 victory over Packers

In Sunday’s game, the team built to win with offense was carried by an excellent defensive performance.

Green Bay Packers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

An old-school, defensive battle took place at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday afternoon, in which the Kansas City Chiefs outlasted the Green Bay Packers for a 13-7 victory that brought their season record to 5-4. The Chiefs’ defense took advantage of Packers’ quarterback Jordan Love making his first start, shutting out Green Bay until late in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs’ offense opened the game with a touchdown drive — and then didn’t cross the goal line again.

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes finished 19/36 passing, totaling 153 yards and one touchdown; he had a passer rating of 73. Running back Darrel Williams led the backfield with 70 rushing yards on 19 attempts. Tight end Travis Kelce headed the pass-catching unit, catching five of his eight targets for 68 yards and a score. Safety Tyrann Mathieu earned a sack, and cornerback L’Jarius Sneed grabbed an interception.

The Chiefs won the toss, deferring to the second half as usual. The Packers couldn’t get off the ground on their first possession, going three-and-out. Rookie quarterback Jordan Love’s third-down pass attempt was disrupted by pressure from edge rusher Melvin Ingram.

For their opening drive, the Chiefs marched down the field — converting third and fourth downs en route to the red zone. Using 15 plays and nearly eight minutes of game time, the Chiefs finished it off with a play-action touchdown pass to tight end Travis Kelce on third-and-goal, giving the Chiefs a 7-0 lead.

The Packers responded by using their ground game to march down the field themselves; running back A.J. Dillon was the featured player on a few chunk runs. Deeper into Chiefs’ territory, two consecutive plays were disrupted by defensive end Frank Clark, forcing a field goal attempt. Green Bay missed, giving Kansas City the ball at their own 30-yard line.

The Chiefs could not take advantage of the missed field goal, failing to get a first down with three consecutive passes to start the drive. On fourth-and-1, a pass to running back Darrel Williams was stopped behind the line of scrimmage for a turnover on downs.

With great field position, the Packers stalled. They settling for a field goal attempt, but the kick was blocked by Alex Okafor.

The Chiefs earned a first down to start their next drive, but proceeded to stop themselves with a stretch of plays that featured missing an open receiver, a dropped pass, and slipping on a route. They punted for the first time in the game.

A successful punt set up the Packers deep inside their own territory, but they got out of the hole on the first play: a play-action in which Dillon ran for 21 yards. A questionable defensive pass interference call on cornerback Charvarius Ward advanced the Packers’ drive further — but on third down, he was able to redeem himself with a pass breakup while covering wide receiver Davante Adams, forcing a punt.

After a three-and-out, the Chiefs went to punt once again — but the Packers muffed, giving Kansas City great field position.

From Green Bay’s 10-yard line, the Chiefs couldn’t punch it in on the first two plays of the drive. They got into third-and-goal from the three-yard line; a quick pass to Williams in the flat couldn’t get all the way to the pylon. On a short fourth-and-goal, the Chiefs wanted to go for it — but Darrel Williams false-started. A field goal made the score 10-0 with a little under two minutes remaining in the first half.

The Packers responded with a huge pass downfield to wide receiver Randall Cobb, who caught it even as safety Juan Thornhill tried to contest. The play resulted in 36 yards. From that point on, they couldn’t make much more progress; they went for it on fourth down, but an inaccurate pass against the blitz fell incomplete.

The Chiefs had a little under 30 seconds before halftime with all three timeouts — and they were able to take advantage. A big catch by Kelce got the Chiefs into field goal territory; after the Packers dropped an interception, the Chiefs settled for a field goal to extend their lead to 13-0 as the second quarter ended.

To start the second half, the Chiefs went three-and-out; a stalled series of plays was capped by a sack where Packers’ defensive end Rashan Gary beat backup right tackle Andrew Wylie.

The Packers couldn’t get anything going on the ensuing drive; on third down, an errant snap was recovered by the Packers to cap off a three-and-out.

From their own 23-yard line, the Chiefs got eight yards on a first-down run — but never advanced any further. Two incompletions followed, and the Chiefs were forced to punt back to Green Bay.

Deep in their own territory, the Packers gained a first down — but quickly got into a third-and-8 after that. The Chiefs sent what seemed like the entire defense on a blitz, which ended with safety Tyrann Mathieu finishing a sack. The Packers punted away for the second-consecutive drive to start the third quarter.

The Chiefs emphasized running the ball on their next drive, eating some clock but not getting past midfield. They had the chance to do so, though; on third-and-2, Mahomes threw to wide receiver Mecole Harmdan past the sticks — but he dropped the easy pass. It led to another punt.

As the fourth quarter began, Green Bay started a drive deep in their own territory — but dug themselves out with big plays by Davante Adams. They also got bailed out on a defensive pass interference flag on linebacker Anthony Hitchens. Past midfield, Green Bay got into a fourth-and-1 and easily converted on a sprint-out pass to Adams. The Packers advanced closer to the red zone, but then cornerback L’Jarius Sneed intercepted a third-down pass to end the drive and preserve the shutout.

From their own five-yard line — up 13-0 with 8:55 remaining in the fourth quarter — the Chiefs’ offense tried to finish the game. They failed miserably. Mahomes had a chance to hit Hill on a deep route, but the throw barely missed; then a third-down incompletion led to a punt.

The Packers took over from midfield with under eight minutes remaining, getting a first down to advance past midfield by way of a throw to Cobb. The Chiefs continued to harass Love by blitzing, forcing him to miss throws. It resulted in a third-and-6 — but Green Bay ran for the conversion. On another third down, Love targeted Sneed in coverage and failed to get it past him. The incompletion forced fourth down, but the Packers converted and scored a touchdown; wide receiver Alan Lazard beat safety Daniel Sorensen in coverage.

Leading 13-7 with under five minutes left, the Chiefs’ offense started with a negative running play. The next play, a play-action pass resulted in Kelce coming wide open over the middle of the field for a big gain. After the two-minute warning, the Chiefs got into third down — but a vintage play by Mahomes to scramble and find Hill notched a first down — and sealed the victory.


Injuries


Right tackle Lucas Niang walked off the field gingerly after awkward contact on a play during the Chiefs’ first drive. He was diagnosed with a rib injury; veteran Andrew Wylie was his replacement.


Special teams


Defensive end Alex Okafor blocked a field goal attempt in the first half.

Cornerback Chris Lammons recovered a muffed punt — and later in the game, nearly recovered another one.

Kicker Harrison Butker made field-goal attempts of 24 yards and 55 yards; the latter was just before halftime to extend the lead. He also made his only extra-point attempt.

Punter Tommy Townsend had to punt six times, putting five of them inside the 20-yard line; a few even went inside the five.


Statistics


CATEGORY GB KC
Total Yards 301 237
Total Plays 60 63
Yards per play 5.0 3.8
Rushing Yards 122 77
Rush Attempts 25 25
Yards per rush 4.90 3.10
Passing Gross Yards 190 166
Sacks/Yards lost 1/11 1/6
Passing Net Yards 179 160
Comp/Att/Pct 19/34/56% 20/37/54%
Yards per pass 5.10 4.20
Interceptions thrown 1 0
Fumbles lost 1 0
Turnovers 2 0
Penalties/Yards 4/19 6/33
Total Drives 10 11
First downs 19 14
Rushing first downs 6 4
Passing first downs 11 9
Penalty first downs 2 1
Third down (Made/Att/Pct) 2/12/17% 5/14/36%
Fourth down (Made/Att/Pct) 2/3/67% 1/2/50%
Goal to go (Made/Att/Pct) 0/0/0% 1/2/50%
Red Zone (Made/Att/Pct) 0/1/0% 1/2/50%
Touchdowns 1 1
TDs/Rushing 0 0
TDs/Passing 1 1
TDs/Interception 0 0
TDs/Kickoff Return 0 0
TDs/Fumble Return 0 0
TDs/Punt Return 0 0
TDs/Defense/ST 0 0
Safeties 0 0
Extra Points (Made/Att) 1/1 1/1
Field Goals (Made/Att) 0/2 2/2
Two-Point Conv (Made/Att) 0/0 0/0
Kickoffs (Num/EZ/TB) 2/1/1 4/2/1
Punts (Num/Yds) 4/217 6/341
Gross Punting Avg Yds 54.3 56.8
Net Punting Avg Yds 48.5 54.3
Total Rtn Yds (No KOs) 15 3
Punt Returns (Num/Yds) 3/15 2/3
Kickoff Returns (Num/Yds) 3/48 1/12
Int Returns (Num/Yds) 0/0 1/0
Punts blocked 0 0
FGs/PATs Blocked 1/0 0/0
Timeouts (Rem/Used) 0/3 2/1
Time of Possession 31:33 28:27
Attendance - 73,476

CHIEFS PASSING C ATT YDS AVG TD LG INT SK SKYD RTG
Patrick Mahomes 20 37 166 4.5 1 25 0 1 6 74.8
TEAM 20 37 166 4.5 1 25 0 1 6 --

PACKERS PASSING C ATT YDS AVG TD LG INT SK SKYD RTG
Jordan Love 19 34 190 5.6 1 35 1 1 11 69.5
TEAM 19 34 190 5.6 1 35 1 1 11 --

CHIEFS RUSHING CAR YDS AVG TD LG
Darrel Williams 19 70 3.7 0 11
Derrick Gore 3 13 4.3 0 7
Patrick Mahomes 2 -2 -1.0 0 -1
Tyreek Hill 1 -4 -4.0 0 -4
TEAM 25 77 3.1 0 11

PACKERS RUSHING CAR YDS AVG TD LG
Aaron Jones 12 53 4.4 0 9
AJ Dillon 8 46 5.8 0 15
Jordan Love 5 23 4.6 0 8
TEAM 25 122 4.9 0 15

CHIEFS RECEIVING REC YDS AVG TD LG TGTS YAC
Josh Gordon 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Travis Kelce 5 68 13.6 1 25 8 20
Jerick McKinnon 3 26 8.7 0 14 3 31
Blake Bell 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Demarcus Robinson 1 2 2.0 0 2 1 1
Tyreek Hill 4 37 9.3 0 13 11 7
Darrel Williams 3 7 2.3 0 7 4 12
Mecole Hardman 3 20 6.7 0 9 6 25
Derrick Gore 1 6 6.0 0 6 1 7
TEAM 20 166 8.3 1 25 36 103

PACKERS RECEIVING REC YDS AVG TD LG TGTS YAC
Marcedes Lewis 1 -1 -1.0 0 -1 1 2
Randall Cobb 3 50 16.7 0 35 5 13
Davante Adams 6 42 7.0 0 14 14 15
Aaron Jones 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Marquez Valdes-Scantling 2 19 9.5 0 16 2 1
Allen Lazard 1 20 20.0 1 20t 1 8
AJ Dillon 4 44 11.0 0 21 4 37
Josiah Deguara 2 16 8.0 0 11 2 11
Dominique Dafney 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
TEAM 19 190 10.0 1 35 32 87

CHIEFS FUMBLES FUM LOST FF REC
(OWN)
TD REC
(OPP)
TD
Chris Lammons 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Mecole Hardman 1 0 0 1 0 0 0
TEAM 1 0 0 1 0 1 0

PACKERS FUMBLES FUM LOST FF REC
(OWN)
TD REC
(OPP)
TD
Malik Taylor 1 1 0 0 0 0 0
Jordan Love 1 0 0 1 0 0 0
Amari Rodgers 1 0 0 1 0 0 0
TEAM 3 1 0 2 0 0 0

CHIEFS DEFENSE TOT SOLO ASST SACK YDS INT TFL PD QBH TD FF FR
Charvarius Ward 7 5 2 0.0 0.0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
Anthony Hitchens 7 2 5 0.0 0.0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Tyrann Mathieu 6 5 1 1.0 11.0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0
L'Jarius Sneed 6 3 3 0.0 0.0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0
Nick Bolton 5 1 4 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tershawn Wharton 4 2 2 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Juan Thornhill 4 2 2 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Rashad Fenton 4 3 1 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Frank Clark 2 2 0 0.0 0.0 0 1 0 3 0 0 0
Derrick Nnadi 2 2 0 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Chris Jones 2 1 1 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
Willie Gay 2 1 1 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Mike Danna 2 1 1 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Daniel Sorensen 1 1 0 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Jarran Reed 1 0 1 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Melvin Ingram III 1 0 1 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM 56 31 25 1 11 1 3 3 7 0 0 0

PACKERS DEFENSE TOT SOLO ASST SACK YDS INT TFL PD QBH TD FF FR
Krys Barnes 9 7 2 0.0 0.0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Kevin King 7 4 3 0.0 0.0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
De'Vondre Campbell 7 4 3 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Chandon Sullivan 5 4 1 0.0 0.0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Rasul Douglas 4 3 1 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
T.J. Slaton 4 3 1 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Adrian Amos 4 2 2 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tyler Lancaster 3 2 1 0.0 0.0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Darnell Savage 3 1 2 0.0 0.0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0
Rashan Gary 2 1 1 1.0 6.0 0 1 0 3 0 0 0
Oren Burks 1 1 0 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Jonathan Garvin 1 1 0 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Kenny Clark 1 1 0 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Dean Lowry 1 1 0 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Whitney Mercilus 1 0 1 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Jack Heflin 1 0 1 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Jordan Love 0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
TEAM 54 35 19 1 6 0 5 3 3 0 0 1

CHIEFS INT INT YDS AVG LG TD
L'Jarius Sneed 1 0 0.0 0 0
TEAM 1 0 0.0 0 0

PACKERS INT INT YDS AVG LG TD
TEAM 0 0 0 0 0

CHIEFS KICK RET NO YDS AVG LG TD
Mecole Hardman 1 12 12.0 12 0
TEAM 1 12 12.0 12 0

PACKERS KICK RET NO YDS AVG LG TD
Amari Rodgers 1 3 3.0 3 0
Malik Taylor 2 45 22.5 26 0
TEAM 3 48 16.0 26 0

CHIEFS PUNT RET NO YDS AVG LG TD
Mecole Hardman 2 3 1.5 3 0
TEAM 2 3 1.5 3 0

PACKERS PUNT RET NO YDS AVG LG TD
Malik Taylor 1 0 0.0 0 0
Amari Rodgers 2 15 7.5 15 0
TEAM 3 15 5.0 15 0

CHIEFS KICKING FGM/FGA PCT LONG XP PTS
Harrison Butker 2/2 100.0 55 1 7
TEAM 2/2 100.0 55 1 7

PACKERS KICKING FGM/FGA PCT LONG XP PTS
Mason Crosby 0/2 0.0 0 1 1
TEAM 0/2 0.0 0 1 1

CHIEFS PUNTING NO YDS AVG TB I20 LG
Tommy Townsend 6 341 56.8 0 5 64
TEAM 6 341 56.8 0 5 64

PACKERS PUNTING NO YDS AVG TB I20 LG
Corey Bojorquez 4 217 54.3 1 1 63
TEAM 4 217 54.3 1 1 63