The Kansas City Chiefs didn’t face the challenge they thought they might when the Green Bay Packers were first listed on the regular-season schedule, and they took care of business against second-year quarterback Jordan Love and company on a clear night at Arrowhead Stadium. By game’s end, the Chiefs ended up with some lingering concerns in terms of performance and health but they did enough to earn a 13-7 win against the NFC North-leading Packers.
It was a memorable game in many ways for the Chiefs, with talking points both good and bad. Here are some of them with our quick takeaways from Week 9.
Defense finds its mojo
There’s no way around the dominant defensive effort put up by the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Jordan Love struggled mightily in his debut, and the Packers didn’t get a single third-down conversion until midway through the fourth quarter.
Spags was dialing up blitzes all day long and Love never looked comfortable in the process. It’s always going to be a lot for any young quarterback to handle the load that Spags brings on defense. It also doesn’t help that the Chiefs’ secondary looked so good on Sunday as well. Tyrann Mathieu came up with a big sack. L’Jarius Sneed grabbed an incredible interception going one-on-one with Davante Adams. Rashad Fenton and Charvarius Ward both came up with big plays as well.
Meanwhile up along the defensive line, Melvin Ingram made his presence felt from the outset (more on him in a minute) while Frank Clark was disruptive early and often. As for Chris Jones, he was unstoppable for a Packers line that had no answer to the talent that the Chiefs had in the trenches.
Specialists look special
The story of the first half for the Packers and Chiefs came down to special teams play. The Chiefs looked exceptional in every facet, while the Packers performed miserably in response.
The Packers had a blocked field goal (thanks, Alex Okafor!) and a missed attempt from 40-yards out that seemed to be the holder’s fault if you trust Mason Crosby‘s staredown. For the Chiefs, however, Dave Toub had to be so pleased with his coverage units and specialists alike.
Tommy Townsend had one punt downed on the two-yard line, and the Chiefs recovered another booming kick later in the second quarter that was muffed by Malik Taylor, leading to a red zone possession on which Harrison Butker kicked his first field goal, a chip shot from 34 yards out. Near the end of the first half, the Chiefs got the ball back with less than 30 seconds left and moved the chains just enough to give Butker a shot from 55 yards out. And of course, he made it.
For the Chiefs, the storylines are always focused on Patrick Mahomes and company or a defense that’s frustratingly not up to par. Yet in this game, Dave Toub’s special teams units stole the spotlight by playing excellent football which contrasted with the Packers’ own meltdown at Arrowhead.