Packers finally less than perfect
Posted: Monday, December 19, 2011 7:02 pm
By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers kept misfiring, and his receivers kept dropping passes. Typically reliable Mason Crosby missed a field goal, and the Green Bay defense couldn’t make a stop.
Nothing was perfect about the previously unbeaten Packers on Sunday.
Kyle Orton threw for 299 yards to outduel Rodgers, one of the game’s elite quarterbacks, and the Kansas City Chiefs rallied behind interim coach Romeo Crennel for a shocking 19-14 victory that ended the Packers’ 19-game winning streak. It was their first loss since Dec. 19, 2010, at New England.
Green Bay, playing without leading receiver Greg Jennings and top rusher James Starks because of injuries, also squandered a chance to wrap up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
“I didn’t see a bunch of guys running around talking about 16-0. That was my sense of it,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “We knew what type of game we were coming into today. This was no surprise. It wasn’t just talk. We answered the questions all week.
“We knew we were coming into a juggernaut and we didn’t overcome it.”
If the Packers knew they were facing a juggernaut, they might have been the only ones.
The Chiefs had lost five of their last six games, which culminated in the firing of coach Todd Haley last Monday. Tyler Palko, who started the past four games at quarterback, wasn’t even active Sunday as Crennel opted to go with Orton in his first start since arriving in Kansas City.
Orton wound up putting together the kind of solid performance the Chiefs have been lacking since Matt Cassel went on injured reserve because of a hurt throwing hand — perhaps even before that.
“That was a good football team we beat,” Orton said. “The coaches put together a good game plan for us. Everybody on offense, everybody on the team, did their job.”
Rodgers was 17-of-35 for 235 yards and a touchdown, and he also scampered eight yards for another touchdown.
Published in The Messenger 12.19.11