Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Packers take it to Chiefs, 38-28

The final score was closer than the overall tone of the game itself. That's because the Green Bay Packers completely dominated the Kansas City Chiefs last evening at Lambeau Field, going to 3-0 on the season as they notched an impressive 38-28 win.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers sliced and diced the Chiefs all night long.
Photo by Rick Wood, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Key to the win was, not surprisingly, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers who put in a masterful peformance. He was 24 of 35 for 333 yards passing, including five touchdowns and, once again, no interceptions. He even had two scrambles for 16 yards and one first down. Rodgers targeted 10 different receivers on the night, with completions to eight. Randall Cobb had three TD catches while James Jones and rookie Ty Montgomery -- in relief of the again-injured Davante Adams -- each caught one TD pass.

The Packers scored early and often in the first half, building a 24-7 halftime lead. And while the offense and Rodgers certainly and deservedly is the talk of the sports shows today, kudos must also be given to the Packers defense and special teams. With a handful of exceptions, Dom Capers' defense -- switching up personnel and schemes often -- completely stymied Kansas City's offense until well into the 4th quarter. Likewise, Ron Zook's special teams -- with the exception of allowing one long kickoff return -- kept the Chiefs from getting untracked by limiting field position most of the game.

DE Mike Daniels and OLB Mike Neal get one the night's seven sacks on Chiefs QB Alex Smith.
Photo by Mark Hoffman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Sam Shields had a big interception, and six members of the Pack's "D" racked up seven sacks on KC QB Alex Smith; Clay Matthews accounted for 2 of those sacks. Pressure was constant on Smith. The defense also kept Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles from hurting them too badly; he did score three touchdowns, two coming late, but had just 49 yards on 11 carries, with a long run of 13 yards. This was the third week in a row that the Packers have a faced a top-notch running back. To this point in the season, they've answered the call admirably.

The injuries continue
Davante Adams (ankle), tight end Andrew Quarless (knee), defensive end Datone Jones (possible concussion) and linebacker Jake Ryan (hamstring) all departed the game early; their status for this Sunday's game at San Francisco will be determined as the week goes along, although it's likely Adams will be sidelined a week or more, re-injuring the same ankle as during the Seahawks game a week ago. Quarless took a nasty hit right to his knee after he caught a pass and while his leg was planted. We'll have to see how that goes this week. Jones will have to go through concussion protocols before being allowed back to practice. Ryan was seeing action not only on special teams but in the middle prior to his injury. The Packers were already down four players to injury coming into the game; add these players to that list.

The Packers will, however, get Letroy Guion back following his three-game suspension. That will definitely help the rotation on the defensive line.

Next up: the 49ers
The Packers travel on a short week to San Francisco to take on the slumping Niners. QB Colin Kaepernick had perhaps his worst game as a pro this past Sunday in the team's 47-7 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. He had four interceptions on the day, including two in his first four passes. Let's hope that poor performance continues this coming Sunday. Packer fans know all too well that Kaepernick seems to have had some of his best games against the Pack. The Niners, however, are not the same powerhouse they once were. Still, on any given Sunday...

The Packers are currently listed as 8-1/2 point favorites over San Francisco. If they keep playing the way they have been through these first three games of the season, this is a game that should take the Packers to 4-0 on the season.

We'll have more as the week goes along.

Go Pack Go!!!