GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers got five touchdown passes from quarterback Aaron Rodgers in a 38-28 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night. Green Bay remained one of seven undefeated teams with the victory.
Going into the game, the biggest challenge for the Packers appeared to be how well they would handle the edge-rushing duo of Chiefs linebackers Justin Houston and Tamba Hali. While those two and other members of the Kansas City front seven did get pressure on Rodgers, the offense for Green Bay was still able to thrive thanks to Rodgers’ mobility and a suspect Chiefs secondary.
Rodgers set the tone early in the first quarter. After each team punted on their first possessions, he threw two touchdown passes to rookie receiver Ty Montgomery and star slot man Randall Cobb. Cobb caught three scores during the game. The Packers ended the first with a 14-0 lead.
Star running back Jamaal Charles got things going for Kansas City in the second. A 38-yard pass from quarterback Alex Smith to tight-end Travis Kelce was the key play on a 3-play, 61-yard drive that culminated in Charles’ 9-yard scoring scamper on the next play. On the big pass, Packers’ cornerback Casey Hayward was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct as well.
Green Bay, however, would respond. Rodgers would hit on his first three passes of the drive, with running back Eddie Lacy getting two runs that totaled 14 yards in between. The Packers caught a break on the sixth play, when Chiefs’ defensive end Allen Bailey sacked Rodgers and stripped him. Hali recovered the fumble, but Kansas City was flagged for illegal contact with a Green Bay receiver in the end zone. This penalty nullified the turnover, and the Packers appeared to respond on the next play, but the pass from Rodgers to Cobb was called back because of an offensive pass interference call on Montgomery, who started blocking before Cobb caught the pass. Mason Crosby would eventually come on for a 44-yard field goal.
After forcing a Chiefs punt, Rodgers struck again. This time, he found receiver James Jones for 27 yards on a free play thanks to Hali jumping offsides. The Packers took a 24-7 lead into halftime.
Both teams each had two punts to begin the second half. Green Bay, on the Chiefs third possession of the third quarter, came up with a huge defensive play when cornerback Sam Shields intercepted Smith deep in Kansas City territory and took the ball back to the 4-yard line. Rodgers cashed in the turnover with a short pass to Cobb to extend the lead to 24.
On the ensuing drive, Smith found a groove. He went 7 for 8 for 85 yards and found receiver Jeremy Maclin for a short touchdown. It was the first touchdown for a Chiefs wide receiver in 21 games and nearly two years. Smith nearly lost possession on a sack by defensive end Mike Daniels, but Kansas City tackle Eric Fisher recovered the fumble to keep the offense on the field.
The Packers would score their final touchdown on the next possession. A 52-yard bomb from Rodgers to Jones on another free play set up Cobb’s third TD catch two plays afterwards. Early in the fourth quarter, Green Bay looked to have clear sailing with a 38-14 lead. Head coach Mike McCarthy summed up Rodgers’ play in simple words.
“Aaron is a phenomenal player … and playing great football,” he said with a laugh. “I’ll just keep saying it.”
However, the road squad had other ideas. Smith continued his solid play from the previous drive, connecting on 3 of 4 passing attempts, including a 61-yard home run over the middle to Maclin. Charles finished the drive with a 4-yard scoot, and Smith found Kelce for a two-point conversion to trim the Packer lead to two possessions.
Green Bay picked up one first down on the next drive, but was eventually forced to punt. The Chiefs continued their rhythm on the subsequent drive.
Smith went 9 for 14 to drive Kansas City down the field for a score that brought the game to 10. However, the Chiefs nearly gave the ball back to the Packers on three plays during the long drive. First, Smith hit Maclin over the middle on a fourth-and-17, but it appeared the latter was short of the first down. However, the home team was out of timeouts, so they could not challenge the call on the field. In addition, the chain crew did not come out to measure the favorable ball spot that gave Kansas City the first down. Two plays later, Hayward intercepted a pass, but veteran defensive end Julius Peppers jumped early and the Chiefs kept the ball. Finally, Smith fumbled again on a sack, this one from linebacker Nick Perry. However, left tackle Donald Stephenson recovered it, and, three plays later, Charles punched it in from 7 yards out. However, the Packers kept KC out of the end zone on the two-point attempt.
After recovering the onside kick, Green Bay ran much time out, but eventually punted. The defense made the final stop to preserve the 10-point victory.
Next, the Packers hit the road to take on the San Francisco 49ers. Kansas City stays away from home to take on the Cincinnati Bengals.
Other NFL scores from Week 3:
Kicker Josh Brown nailed three field goals and quarterback Eli Manning had two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle to lead the New York Giants to a 32-21 Thursday night victory over the Washington Redskins. Randle finished with 116 yards on seven catches with the score. Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins threw for 316 yards in a losing effort.
Playing without star quarterback Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints dropped to 0-3 on the season with a 27-22 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Luke McCown threw for 310 yards in Brees’ place. For the Panthers, quarterback Cam Newton scored three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) and threw for 315 yards. Carolina is 3-0 on the season.
The Philadelphia Eagles, widely expected to be one of the NFC’s best teams, finally got their first win of the season. Running backs Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles were the catalysts, as each ran for a touchdown, Mathews had 108 rushing yards, and Sproles ran a punt back 89 yards for a score to help defeat the New York Jets, 24-17.
In a battle of recent AFC bottom-feeders, the Oakland Raiders defeated the Cleveland Browns, 27-20. Second-year quarterback Derek Carr threw for 314 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Raiders, and running back Latavius Murray added 139 rushing yards and one score. Browns QB Josh McCown, back from a concussion that sidelined him last week, threw for 341 yards but also tossed a costly late interception.
The Dallas Cowboys led 28-17 at halftime, but the Atlanta Falcons scored 22 points in the second half while shutting out the Cowboys to steal a 39-28 victory. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan found receiver Julio Jones, who had 164 yards on 12 catches, once in the third quarter and once in the fourth, and Devonta Freeman had one of his three touchdown runs in the fourth. Dallas running back Joseph Randle finished with three touchdown runs of his own.
Star running back Adrian Peterson had 126 rushing yards and two touchdowns, and linebacker Chad Greenway had a 91-yard interception return in the fourth quarter to help the Minnesota Vikings earn a 31-14 victory over the San Diego Chargers. Receiver Keenan Allen finished with 133 receiving yards on 12 catches and both Chargers touchdowns in the loss.
The Seattle Seahawks could not get the offense moving in the first half vs. the Chicago Bears as the home team could only muster 6 points through the first two quarters. However, the defense, aided by the return of hard-hitting safety Kam Chancellor, completely shut down the inept Bears offense, and rookie receiver/return specialist Tyler Lockett ran back the second half opening kickoff for a touchdown, which ignited the Seahawks to run away, 26-0 for their first victory.
Wide receiver A.J. Green had a monster game for the Bengals, as he caught 10 passes for 227 yards and two fourth quarter touchdowns. Quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 383 yards and three scores, plus ran one in to help send the Baltimore Ravens to the first 0-3 start in franchise history, 28-24.
Quarterback Tom Brady continued his torrid roll through the season, throwing for 358 yards and two touchdowns. One of them was the 400th TD toss of his career. Running back LeGarrette Blount added three touchdown runs to help the New England Patriots run away from the Jacksonville Jaguars, 51-17. Blake Bortles threw for 242 yards and two scores of his own for the Jaguars.
Houston Texans quarterback Ryan Mallett, who recently took the starting job from Brian Hoyer, threw for 228 yards and a score, and running back Alfred Blue rushed for 139 and a touchdown to help defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 19-9. Rookie Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 261 and one touchdown.
The Pittsburgh Steelers got a bittersweet 12-6 defensive victory over the St. Louis Rams, as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went down with a knee injury. Receiver Antonio Brown caught 11 passes for 108 yards for the Steelers.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck finally found a rhythm against the Tennessee Titans, throwing for 260 yards and two key fourth-quarter touchdowns to help his team rally to a 35-33 victory over their division rival after facing a 27-14 deficit heading into the final frame. Rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota continues to play well for the Titans as he tossed for 367 yards and two scores.
The Arizona Cardinals defense picked off 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick four times, including twice in the first quarter that were returned for touchdowns. Running back Chris Johnson scored two rushing TDs and quarterback Carson Palmer threw two touchdown passes to receiver Larry Fitzgerald to lead the Cardinals to a 47-7 romp.
The Buffalo Bills took their frustrations from last week’s loss to the Patriots out on the Miami Dolphins in a 41-14 laugher. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw for 277 yards and three scores, the defense got a pick-six, and running back Karlos Williams added a touchdown run to lead the Bills. Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw for 297 yards but two interceptions.
Hall of Fame-bound quarterback Peyton Manning finally showed that he still has some juice left, throwing for 324 yards and two scores to lead the Denver Broncos to a 24-12 Sunday night victory over the winless Detroit Lions. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford threw 2 interceptions in the loss.
All stats and quotes courtesy of CBSSports.com