Without quarterback Patrick Mahomes taking the field, the Kansas City Chiefs gave most of the other starters time to play in the preseason finale — knowing there is two weeks until the regular season. They took advantage with another strong performance, laying the foundation for a 17-10 win over the Green Bay Packers.
Quarterback Shane Buechele got the bulk of the snaps, completing 11 passes on 17 attempts for 166 yards and two touchdowns; he had a 135.9 passer rating. Running back Isiah Pacheco led the team with 52 yards on 10 carries, but Ronald Jones added 43 yards on eight carries himself. Tight end Matt Bushman caught two touchdowns among his three catches for 73 yards.
Starting on defense, the Chiefs began in their base formation — with rookies George Karlaftis and Leo Chenal taking the field first. After two short gains, cornerback Trent McDuffie came up to make a short tackle on third-and-2, forcing a Packers punt.
The Chiefs’ starting offense took over possession. With quarterback Patrick Mahomes on the field, the offense formed the famous “choir huddle” in honor of the late Len Dawson. After purposefully taking a delay-of-game penalty, quarterback Chad Henne replaced Mahomes to start the drive. Kansas City went three-and-out after a holding penalty on right tackle Andrew Wylie backed them up — but the possession was highlighted by a strong, nine-yard run by running back Ronald Jones.
The second defensive drive started with a run stop by defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi, followed by a sack from defensive tackle Tershawn Wharton — in which he chased down the quarterback from behind. On third down, defensive end Mike Danna got into the quarterback’s face and forced an incompletion.
With another shot on offense, the Chiefs started with another impressive carry by Jones; he took it eight yards on first down. After moving the sticks shortly after, Henne found wide receiver Justin Watson for another first down. Two plays later, rookie wide receiver Skyy Moore was targeted deep and was in position to make the catch — but failed to haul it in after defensive pass interference.
Set up at the Packers’ 25-yard line, rookie running back Isiah Pacheco took off for a 18-yard run — only for the play to be called back because of a holding penalty called on center Creed Humphrey. Three plays later, the Chiefs were settling for a field goal to take a 3-0 lead.
With the backup defense on the field, the Chiefs appeared to force a three-and-out — with all three stops coming from linebacker Darius Harris: a tackle for loss, a stop at the line, and a play where he sniffed out a screen. However, a face-mask penalty extended the possession. A few plays later, the first quarter ended with the Packers in Kansas City territory.
Danna made two tackles over the next two plays, setting up a third-and-11. However, a surprise run caught the Chiefs defense on their heels. Linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. was pancaked as the ball carrier broke through arm tackles for a 24-yard touchdown, giving Green Bay a 7-3 lead.
The next possession featured Shane Buechele taking the quarterback snaps. pushing the Chiefs close to midfield with completions to wide receiver Daurice Fountain and tight end Jody Fortson. On second down, he found tight end Matt Bushman wide open down the sideline, running away from the defense for a 54-yard touchdown. Kansas City regained the lead at 10-7.
To follow up, the Packers’ offense tore through the Chiefs’ reserve defense — going 84 yards in 13 plays and earning four first downs on the way to a field goal that tied the game at 10. The Chiefs’ defense does get credit for holding them out of the end zone after Green Bay advanced all the way to the five-yard line.
Under the two-minute warning, Buechele tried to lead a big drive — but it ended up as a three-and-out.
A punt gave the Packers a chance with 45 seconds to go before halftime. Green Bay quarterback Jordan Love targeted a receiver deep, but he was picked off by Chiefs’ rookie safety Bryan Cook with under 10 seconds to go. A kneel down later, the game went into the intermission with the score at 10-10.
The Chiefs opened up the third quarter with the ball, relying on Jones and Pacheco to gain 23 rushing yards on the first three plays. Then, wide receiver Daurice Fountain caught a short pass and ran 29 yards to the two-yard line. On the next play, Buechele found Bushman for his second receiving touchdown of the night. The score stood at 17-10.
The Chiefs forced a punt on the next defensive drive, quickly getting the ball back to Buechele. Pacheco took the first carry of the drive for 13 yards, followed by Bushman gaining 17 yards through the air. After wide receiver Cornell Powell converted a third down, the Chiefs leaned on Pacheco for three carries on four plays. The third was on fourth down, where he was stuffed by an unblocked defensive lineman.
The Packers took over possession, but Chiefs defensive end Azur Kamara made sure to get the ball right back for Kansas City. A batted pass and a third-down tackle forced a quick Green Bay punt by Green Bay.
Pacheco continued his impressive performance, rushing for 19 yards on the drive’s first two plays. However, Buechele couldn’t find room to scramble on the ensuing third down — forcing another punt.
In the fourth quarter, the Packers found themselves in a second-and-long — which turned into third down with 21 yards to convert after a sack by Chiefs defensive end Joshua Kaindoh. The Packers punted on the next play.
With Buechele still under center, the Chiefs moved down the field with a big reception by wide receiver Austin Parker; it gained 21 yards. Near midfield, Buechele couldn’t hook up with wide receiver Corey Coleman on third down — forcing them to punt.
The Packers started their drive well, gaining 22 yards on the second play. However, cornerback DiCaprio Bootle blitzed through the protection to earn a sack — pushing them back too far to recover.
The Chiefs took over possession, but backup running back Tayon Fleet-Davis nearly fumbled the ball away on second down. On third-and-15, they fell short with an 11-yard completion.
With roughly four minutes to go, the Packers began by gaining yards on the ground. A few completions later, the Packers had third-and-short as the two-minute warning hit.
The third-down play was stopped by the Chiefs’ defense, but a pass interference penalty extended the drive. With time winding down, the Packers got to the 19-yard line and faced a fourth down. The pass fell incomplete with defense by safety Devon Key, and the game was decided. Chiefs won 17-10 over the Packers.
Kicker Harrison Butker converted his only field goal of the night from 44 yards away. He also kicked two point-after attempts through the uprights.
Punter Tommy Townsend had four punts. The longest was 45 yards. Two of his punts landed inside the 20-yard line, while one became a touchback.
Skyy Moore returned two punts, with one of them going 35 yards and threatening to turn into an even bigger return. Corey Coleman had three punt returns for 47 yards total, while rookie Jerrion Ealy had one return for 20 yards.
Pacheco returned one kickoff for 17 yards — but in his only opportunity, Corey Coleman opened the second half with a 45-yard return.
Rookie cornerback Trent McDuffie left the game early after a head-to-knee collision on a third-down tackle. He entered the concussion protocol and did not return.
Tight end Matt Bushman left the game in the third quarter with a right shoulder injury. Shortly after, he was announced as questionable to return.
|Yards per play||5.1||5.8|
|Yards per rush||4.50||3.80|
|Passing Gross Yards||245||200|
|Passing Net Yards||229||200|
|Yards per pass||5.50||8.00|
|Rushing first downs||5||4|
|Passing first downs||10||9|
|Penalty first downs||2||1|
|Third down (Made/Att/Pct)||3/13/23%||3/10/30%|
|Fourth down (Made/Att/Pct)||0/1/0%||0/1/0%|
|Goal to go (Made/Att/Pct)||0/1/0%||1/1/100%|
|Red Zone (Made/Att/Pct)||0/2/0%||1/1/100%|
|Extra Points (Made/Att)||1/1||2/2|
|Field Goals (Made/Att)||1/1||1/1|
|Two-Point Conv (Made/Att)||0/0||0/0|
|Gross Punting Avg Yds||56.3||41.6|
|Net Punting Avg Yds||36.7||33.6|
|Total Rtn Yds (No KOs)||0||130|
|Punt Returns (Num/Yds)||1/0||6/118|
|Kickoff Returns (Num/Yds)||4/56||2/62|
|Int Returns (Num/Yds)||0/0||1/12|
|Time of Possession||33:00||27:00|
|Ronald Jones II||8||43||5.4||0||9|
|Ronald Jones II||1||4||4.0||0||4||1||6|
|CHIEFS FUMBLES||FUM||LOST||FF||REC |
|PACKERS FUMBLES||FUM||LOST||FF||REC |
|Jermaine Carter Jr.||2||2||0||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|CHIEFS KICK RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|PACKERS KICK RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|CHIEFS PUNT RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|
|PACKERS PUNT RET||NO||YDS||AVG||LG||TD|