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Final score: Chiefs’ comeback falls short in 27-19 loss to Packers

In Week 13, Kansas City couldn’t overcome a slow start — leading to an uncharacteristic loss.

Kansas City Chiefs v Green Bay Packers Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

In the Week 13 episode of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” the Kansas City Chiefs dropped an uncharacteristic 27-19 loss to Green Bay Packers at historic Lambeau Field — dropping the Chiefs’ record to 8-4.


First quarter


The opening coin toss was won by the Chiefs, leading to a deferral to the second half. That gave the Packers possession to begin the game. The offense started from the 25-yard line after a touchback.

The Packers relied on the run game to start the first drive, handing off to running back A.J. Dillon often and getting past midfield quickly. Those runs were complemented with two play-action completions by quarterback Jordan Love that totaled 28 yards. It set Green Bay up at the 14-yard line for a third and four, when they took their first timeout.

Looking to keep the drive alive, Love made a quick throw to move the chains — finding wide receiver Dontayvion Wicks at the seven-yard line. From there, Dillon ran to the one-yard line, then Love faked a handoff to find tight end Ben Sims in the end zone for an opening-drive score. Green Bay had a 7-0 lead.

After moving the chains once, the Chiefs’ offense worked its way into an early third and short, converting with an inside handoff to running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Then, offensive pass interference on tight end Travis Kelce set the drive back, leading to third and 11. To convert, Mahomes had to move around, eventually finding a sliding wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

At the 31-yard line, the Chiefs went under center with a power run, gaining 26 yards when running back Isiah Pacheco shot through the run lane. It got the offense to the five-yard line, but two sacks followed that play. The Packers’ defense forced a field goal attempt, and the Chiefs cut the Packers’ early lead to 7-3.


Second quarter


It was more of the same for Green Bay on the second drive, using play-action passes and an efficient rushing attack to get deep into Kansas City territory. On third and five from the Chiefs’ nine-yard line, Love manuevered a cluttered pocket and found wide receiver Christian Watson wide open in the end zone, pushing the Packers’ lead to 14-3.

Kansas City avoided a quick three and out by completing a pass at the sticks to wide receiver Skyy Moore, which set up a downfield catch by tight end Travis Kelce that gained 23 yards a few plays later. The Chiefs faced another third down, handing off to Pacheco to convert. That was followed up by a 10-yard gain on a screen pass to Kelce, setting up the offense at the 12-yard line.

A holding call on center Creed Humphrey set the Chiefs back suddenly, killing momentum and eventually leading to a drive-ending sack. Kansas City was forced to kick the field goal, closing the Packers’ lead to 14-6.

Chiefs’ linebacker Willie Gay made one of the team’s first run stops on first down to begin the next drive, which took the first half into the two-minute warning.

That stop was followed by a wide open receiver to convert third down, then a 24-yard carry that set the Packers up at the Chiefs’ 32-yard line before Kansas City took a timeout with 32 seconds left. Green Bay couldn’t do much with it after that, working into a fourth and 17 after the Chiefs’ defense swarmed on multiple plays. The Packers’ coaches decided the attempt for a field goal would be too far, punting away with 18 seconds on the clock.

A great punt pinned the Chiefs’ deep, leading to a kneeldown — and halftime, with the score holding in Green Bay’s favor: 14-6.


Third quarter


The Chiefs’ offense started the second half well, manufacturing a big completion to Kelce with play action. However, that was followed up by a holding penalty on right tackle Jawaan Taylor, then another penalty on the Chiefs for an illegal shift. It eventually put the Chiefs into third and 22, but Mahomes was able to buy time and find Kelce to keep the possession going.

From the Packers’ 35-yard line, the Chiefs ripped off two consecutive plays to move the chains — eventually getting a third first down at the one-yard line. From there, Pacheco punched in an off-tackle run untouched. The ensuing two-point attempt also went to Pacheco, but failed, keeping the Chiefs behind on the scoreboard 14-12.

Looking to get a stop for the Chiefs’ offense, the defense gave way to midfield, but forced a fourth and short soon after. On that play, Love dropped back and threw a long ball off his back foot, seemingly into coverage — but it ended up caught inside the red zone. From there, Love made another downfield throw, this time finding Watson in the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown. The Packers pushed the score to 21-12.

Chiefs’ wide receiver Richie James made his first contribution to the offense since his return from injury, catching a short pass and squirming through tacklers to move the chains with a 12-yard gain. That set Kansas City up in Green Bay territory, and the Chiefs advanced further with a strong running game. The last carry by Pacheco landed at the Packers’ one-yard line after a tough 14 yards; it was followed by a stuffed handoff, leading into the final period.


Fourth quarter


After a shovel pass from the two-yard line was tipped up and nearly intercepted, the Chiefs dropped back Mahomes on third and goal, where he found tight end Noah Gray in rhythm to score. It narrowed Green Bay’s lead to 21-19.

For the second time in the game, the Chiefs’ defense was able to get a stop on the ensuing drive. After getting chipped away at again for two first downs, Kansa City tightened up — using pressure and tight coverage to force three consecutive incompletions. The Packers had to punt from their own 41-yard line.

Looking to take control of the game with 11 minutes remaining, the Chiefs’ offense had a shot to cross midfield when Marquez Valdes-Scantling found space vertically on second down — but he and Mahomes’ failed to work on the same page, leading to an incompletion. Two plays later, the Chiefs had to punt it right back to Green Bay.

The Packers bounced back from the one stop the Chiefs got, marching down the field with more Dillon and chunk gains by the team’s wide receivers. From inside the red zone, Kansas City was able to force two incompletions — then a third-down pressure ended in a sack by defensive end Mike Danna. That held the Packers to a field goal attempt, which they converted to extend the lead to 24-19.

Kansas City took possession with six minuets to go, working past midfield with help from a defensive pass interference flag. However, the next snap was an attempt at a back-shouldered throw to wide receiver Skyy Moore — but it ended up in an interception. The latest dysfunction in the pass game gave the Packers possession, up five points with five minutes remaining.

Green Bay earned one first down on the ground, then passed the 50-yard line with a short completion. The ensuing third and one was converted by a quarterback sneak, and set the Packers up at the Chiefs’ 41-yard line with under three and a half minutes to go. Kansas City was forced to begin taking timeouts in an attempt to get the ball back.

The Chiefs’ defense worked it to third and six, where defensive tackle Chris Jones broke free and corralled Jordan Love for a sack. It pushed the Packers back into a 48-yard field goal attempt with 1:09 remaining; the kick was good, putting Green Bay on top 27-19.

Starting from its own 30-yard line, the Chiefs’ offense started with a 10-yard scramble by Mahomes — which was topped off by 15 yards from an unnecessary roughness penalty. That was followed by a 10-yard gain by Rice, getting the Chiefs to midfield with 50 seconds remaining.

From there, a deep attempt to Valdes-Scantling appeared to be interfered with — but no call led to the Chiefs working to find another way. Eventually, the offense faced fourth and 10 from the 33-yard line, with a few seconds left. That play ended in a deep incompletion to wide receiver Kadarius Toney; the Packers held, sealing the 27-19 win over the Chiefs.


Injuries


Linebacker Drue Tranquill stayed down on the field after a tackle attempt on the opening drive; he took the ball carrier’s knee to the back of his helmet. He went to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion soon after. By the second half, he was ruled out for a return.

Left tackle Donovan Smith did not return to the field in the second half, being replaced by rookie Wanya Morris in the starting lineup. He was ruled as questionable to return.

Safety Bryan Cook suffered a lower leg injury in the third quarter that required the cart to take him off the field. He was later ruled as questionable to return with an ankle injury; a further report from the team ruled him out for the game in the fourth quarter.


Special Teams


Kicker Harrison Butker made a 34-yard field goal to end the first quarter. Later in the first half, he made another 34-yard kick. In the third quarter, he converted a point-after attempt.

Punter Tommy Townsend’s only punt traveled 57 yards, pinning Green Bay at their own 23-yard line in the fourth quarter

Kick returner Richie James has gained 53 yards between two attempts at kick return.

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