The Kansas City Chiefs shocked everyone on Sunday with a 19-14 victory over the previously undefeated Green Bay Packers. It wasn’t just the first loss for the defending Super Bowl champions, but also the first victory for Chiefs interim head coach Romeo Crennel.
After the embarrassing performance the Chiefs together last week against the New York Jets, it was amazing to see such a start to finish quality game this week. From the very first drive Kansas City looked like a team ready to give Aaron Rodgers and the Packers everything they could take.
The team was still showing a lack of discipline with some silly mistakes, but effort was never an issue and that came across in the final result.
Thanks to losses by the Denver Broncos and the Oakland Raiders, the Chiefs once again are right in the middle of the playoff hunt. With two games remaining, if Kansas City can win their final two games and the Broncos, Raiders and Chargers lose one more of theirs, the Chiefs would win a three-way 8-8 tie atop the AFC West.
These Chiefs players were more than happy to rally around Crennel and bought into the game plan he and the rest of the staff put together. Once the game was finally in hand in the final minutes, Crennel got a Gatorade bath and finally allowed himself to break out a smile as he put himself in the lead to be the Chiefs head coach next season.
Here are the three players most deserving of game balls from one of the most impressive performances we’ve seen in years.
Offense: Kyle Orton
Entering Sunday’s game there was concern about a finger injury on his throwing hand that kept him out of uniform last week on top of the rust from barely playing since being benched in favor of Tim Tebow earlier in the season. The veteran erased all of those doubts quickly, showing he had a full grasp of Bill Muir’s offense and clearly was comfortable playing against a Green Bay defense he saw while with the Broncos.
Orton didn’t throw a touchdown, but he also didn’t turn the ball over. He was 23-of-31 for 299 yards as the Chiefs offense kept the Packers off balance with screens all over the field.
Knowing he already knows the offense so well, it puts the Chiefs in great position to win their final two games and do all they can to make things interesting in the AFC West.
Defense: Tamba Hali
With the NFL watching to see if Green Bay could stay perfect, they were reminded that one of the best pass rushers in the league resides in Kansas City. With the Chiefs recent struggles, it pushed Hali to the back of discussions about who you most want getting after the QB.
Hali took advantage of a battered Packers offensive line, tormenting Rodgers all game and delivering some of the cleanest hits he’s taken all year. The linebacker finished with four tackles, three sacks and the 22nd forced fumble of his career. When Hali wasn’t hitting the Green Bay QB, he was collapsing the pocket.
Special Teams: Ryan Succop
When he started the season a miserable 1-of-4 on field goals, no one could have imagined Succop would end up running off one of the most amazing streaks the Chiefs have ever seen. The kicker hasn’t missed since Week 3, hitting on 21 straight field goal attempts.
As the Chiefs offense struggled to get the ball into the end zone, the ultra-reliable Succop made sure they always came away with points. He was good from 19, 20, 32 and 46.