Chiefs vs. Packers: Game Balls & Lame Calls

The Green Bay Packers continue to roll and espeically at home.  After a big home-opening win against the Seattle Seahawks last week, the Packers again held serve at home and dispatched the Kansas City Chiefs by a score of 38-28.  The win improved Green Bay to 3-0 and still atop the NFC North.  

This was another game where I had to think and search hard for the lame calls.  No team is perfect and of course, there are moments to forget by both teams, but the Packers didn't have any players who were glaringly bad.  With that, let's take a look at the very good and not as good from Monday night's game.

Game Balls

Aaron Rodgers

Rinse, repeat.  Rodgers has 10 touchdown passes on the season and no interceptions.  He continues to be pinpoint accurate at home and hasn't thrown an interception at Lambeau Field in over 1,000 days.  Rodgers is great, in every way.  He's very hard to game plan for and even when the defense does get it right, Rodgers finds a way to squeeze orange juice out of a turnip.  His brilliance is stunning and we're all guilty of expecting it at one point or another.  He's had six seasons with a quarterback rating over 100 and he's on his way to a seventh.

Randall Cobb

What shoulder injury?  If it's still bothering him, Cobb isn't showing it.  He hauled in a career-high three touchdown catches against the Chiefs.  With Davante Adams out and rookie Ty Montgomery learning, Cobb stepped up and made big catch after big catch.  He would have had a fourth touchdown grab had he not been for an offensive pass interference penalty.  Cobb's first touchdown wasn't without some extra effort.  Upon making the catch just outside the goal line, Cobb muscled his way to get the ball to the end line during the process of being tackled.  With Adams likely to miss some time, Cobb will again become a focal point of the Packers passing game.  

Offensive Line

Three games and Rodgers has been sacked only three times.  That includes games against the Seahawks and Chiefs, both of which have active defensive fronts and above-average pass rushes.  The interior of the line picked up right where they left off last season and the tackle play has been adequate enough to give Rodgers time to move around and create.  Don Barclay stepped in for the injured Bryan Bulaga for a second week in a row and hasn't been horrible.  Barclay had a holding penalty Monday night, but Justin Houston is no slouch as a pass rusher and the alternative was likely Rodgers' head rolling around on the ground.  Teams will continue to attack the right side of the Packers offensive front, but Barclay is holding his own and hopefully doesn't implode anytime soon.

Mike Daniels

Daniels is a man.  We knew this but he still wants to remind us each week and this week was no exception.  He was huddling up the defensive line before the game, which was good to see given that some were worried about the Packers having a letdown performance against Kansas City after the big win against the Seahawks.  Big Mike had 1.5 sacks on the night and a big tackle for loss on Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles.  Daniels continues to be the Packers best defensive lineman and it's not close.  The Packers won't likely meet his dollar amount on a new contract during this season, but with every passing week, Daniels is seeing more and more dollar signs.

Clay Matthews

Two sacks, The Predator, three quarterback hits and more quality time at inside linebacker, Matthews just shows up and does work week in and week out.  His run defense has been superb and he's a big reason why the Packers have held two premier running backs to less than 50 yards rushing in back-to-back weeks.

Sam Shields

Shields had a rough outing in week one but has followed that up with two straight solid performances.  He scored the first interception by a defensive back this season and led the team in tackles with six.  Shields still has some wheels, as he chased down a streaking Jeremy Maclin on a long catch and run late in the game.  If not for Shields' effort and speed, Maclin walks into the end zone.

Lame Calls

Defense With A Lead

Put this on Dom Capers or whoever you want, this is a frustrating thing to see.  With a 31-7 lead, the Packers began to play their usual "bend but don't break" style of defense.  The result was the Chiefs eating up chunks of yards between the 20's and in the middle of the field, where no Packers defenders were roaming.  Fortunately for the Packers, Alex Smith was quarterbacking the Chiefs and they had little to worry about.  I called a Chiefs receiver getting into the end zone in this game, after they hadn't in a year-and-a-half, but it made little difference in the end.  Still, the Packers have to find a way to get off the field.  Far too often, they allowed long conversions on third down because they were content to just keep everything in front of them.  Failure to close out games on defense is going to bite this team in the rear at some point if they don't get it squared away.

Jamaal Charles Touchdown Celebrations

Charles clearly likes to maximize his time on camera.  After the first of his three touchdowns, Charles did the "championship belt" celebration, mocking Aaron Rodgers own version of the celebration.  On his second touchdown run, Charles jumped into the stands where there was a contingent of Chiefs fans, this time mocking the Lambeau Leap.  Charles is lucky he didn't tear his ACL, as other players have while attempting to imitate Rodgers.  Jamaal, you're not Aaron Rodgers and you'll never be on his level.  You don't earn more points for impersonating greatness.  You scored three times in this game but all anyone is talking about his what a moron you looked like not once, but twice as you celebrated with your team well behind on the scoreboard.  Apparently you're not familiar with how Rodgers responds to such actions so Packer nation thanks you for the added fuel!

Chiefs Fans Chant During National Anthem

As I said, there weren't many Packers players who had an awful game so I am reaching a bit here.  Had I not been in attendance for this game, I wouldn't have caught this.  At the end of the Anthem, as "home of the brave" is being sung, some of  the Chiefs fans in attendance said, in unison, "home of the Chieeeeeeefs".  Now, I'm aware that many fans of other teams do this at thier games.  My own alma mater, Arizona State University, has had their fans do this as well.  Still, this is the National Anthem.  Show some class.  We sing this song to honor our military and those who have sacrificed so we can be in the stands and sing this song before games.  Sing the right words or keep your mouth shut, especially in another stadium. 

 

There were others who could have also had game balls: Nick Perry, James Jones, Jeff Janis on special teams.  A lot of good things for the Packers to take with them to San Fancisco next week when they take on the 1-2 49ers.  The Packers will look to get an elusive win against a third straight opponent on Sunday.  

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Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Comments (27)

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HankScorpio's picture

September 29, 2015 at 04:24 pm

Lame Call to Pro Football Focus for their negative grade on Aaron Rodgers.

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jh9's picture

September 29, 2015 at 04:40 pm

I read the PFF article. What a joke! I don't care what kind of warped logic they use, if they give Aaron Rodgers a below average rating for his performance against the Chiefs they have lost all credibility!

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John Galt III's picture

September 29, 2015 at 04:57 pm

I commented on PFF that if they were to rate athletes in basketball, golf and tennis that somehow - Michael Jordan, Jordan Spieth and Roger Federer were mediocre talents as well.

Before the game last night, ESPN did a segment on the teams that passed on Aaron Rodgers 10 years ago in the draft. It seemed like those teams had gone through 15 to 20 QB's each in that time.

I've said many times that we are spoiled. Since 1992 we have had a total of (2) QB's. That's insane.

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HankScorpio's picture

September 29, 2015 at 06:00 pm

I think that's a really good comment about Jordan, Spieth and Federer. The great ones make it look easy. It's not easy. If it were, everyone would be doing it.

But it is easy to mistake a great one making it look easy for it actually being easy. A bunch of the defense for the PFF grade was that the WRs made Rodgers look better than he was. Uh, no, just the opposite. The Packers are running with exactly one good pass catcher that could thrive anywhere. I think Adams will join Cobb at that level in time but he's not there yet. Jones was cut twice this year. R. Rodgers is still learning. Montgomery is a rookie. They have a backup at RT. Their LT is mediocre. And their top RB is nursing a bum ankle.

And still it almost looks effortless for Rodgers these days. We are truly spoiled to have him. Especially considering who he replaced.

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denniseckersley's picture

September 29, 2015 at 04:58 pm

Since you were in attendance, you weren't able to watch the national broadcast....which included a piece on Jamaal Charles' learning disability (specifically, a reading disability). I'm just giving you a heads up because your reading-the-scoreboard comment is rather insensitive (although I presume you had no idea). You might want to edit that :)

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jasonperone's picture

September 29, 2015 at 05:19 pm

I am aware of it and updated the post. I am not insensitive to this type of challenge, as I have family who have dealt with it. Still, he knows better and obviously overcame that obstacle to become a successful athlete who knows the score and situation he's in. He chose to act like a fool but the Packers will be all the better for it when Rodgers uses it as motivation. Thank you for reading!

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WKUPackFan's picture

September 30, 2015 at 11:53 am

I was unaware of that, would not have posted about his speaking ability on another thread.

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

September 29, 2015 at 05:54 pm

As a veteran it gets me hot for anyone to disrespect our veterans. Maybe I am old school but have some class, I am glad it was Chefs fans that did this at least the Packer fans have class.

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John Galt III's picture

September 29, 2015 at 07:31 pm

Veteran here too. Free country but I don't like that either. If one of my children or grandchildren did that once in front of me, after a 10 minute conversation it wouldn't happen again. All you have to do is explain the sacrifice people make for very little money compared to NFL players and a concussion is the least you can experience. When I was a private I got $85 a month.

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L's picture

September 29, 2015 at 05:58 pm

Lame Calls:

Refs on the HHCD hit and on spotting the ball after the 4th and 17 catch.

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HankScorpio's picture

September 29, 2015 at 06:03 pm

I know the TV line is not official but he sure looked well short of that mark to me. I don't get that they didn't at least measure it out.

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jasonperone's picture

September 29, 2015 at 08:08 pm

I thought about it but that flag gets thrown a lot now. It's all due to the new rules and unfortunately, the plays happen so fast that the refs have to err on the side of caution. It looked like a clean hit, but let's also consider that HHCD is gaining a reputation for ducking his head and diving at the ball carrier. Officials know it and will not give him the benefit of the doubt.

On the play where he came up on a sliding Alex Smith, he was close to getting another flag.

He plays fast and I can appreciate his tenacity. He'll make some fabulous plays over time and we'll just have to accept that he will also get flagged a few as well.

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DukeDivine's picture

September 30, 2015 at 09:13 am

Lame Call: Burning all your timeouts early and challenges as a result so the terrible spot could not be reviewed. That could have ended the game. And to your ref point; How in the heck can they not even measure the spot especially since it was spotted so close and yet so far from the actual spot here he was touched.?!?!?

Game BAlls: this is one of the few things to critique from this dominant performance!!

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DraftHobbyist's picture

September 29, 2015 at 06:02 pm

I know you mentioned that James Jones could have had a game ball, but he absolutely deserves one (and not as the after-mention). He had 139 receiving yards and a TD catching 7 out of 8 targets. That's an average of 19.9 yards per reception.

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HankScorpio's picture

September 29, 2015 at 06:10 pm

Jones has been a godsend. I think he's established himself ahead of Adams if for no other reason than the trust that Rodgers has established with him. It's not surprise that the free play downfield shot is often heading his way.

Just goes to show why you shouldn't burn bridges on your way out of town.

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L's picture

September 29, 2015 at 06:20 pm

"I think he's established himself ahead of Adams..."

While I think you may be right I actually hope you're wrong for two reasons: (1) Jones will likely only be here this year and because of that I'd like to see Adams given prime opportunities this year to ascend into a legitimate receiving force for the Packers, and (2) Adams is on my fantasy team. :P

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HankScorpio's picture

September 29, 2015 at 07:30 pm

The Packers #3 WR gets plenty of snaps. So whether it is Adams, Jones or more of a 2A/2B thing, once Adams gets healthy, he can start to produce.

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NickPerry's picture

September 29, 2015 at 09:01 pm

I'm curious to see how Montgomery progresses, depending on Adams ankle he could really play a lot of meaningful snaps. Aside from the penalty on Cobb's TD he was solid in his blocking assignments. On several pass plays he was right out front taking care of business. He's strong for a WR and he has a 40 1/2 inch vertical and catches everything thrown to him. Like to see him more involved.

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John Galt III's picture

September 29, 2015 at 07:33 pm

....and you thank TT for recognizing what a steal he was getting and Number 12 for saying, I need this guy.

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jasonperone's picture

September 29, 2015 at 08:01 pm

Absolutely considered this but was trying to keep the Game Ball recipients down and for the most deserving. It's a good problem to have. Jones has been nothing short of incredible for how seamlessly he's reintegrated himself to the offense and how productive he's been.

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EdsLaces's picture

September 29, 2015 at 06:12 pm

Shields ran down Maclin like he was standing still. His speed is ridiculous.

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jasonperone's picture

September 29, 2015 at 08:04 pm

I don't know if they showed the overhead view on replay but that's the fastest I've ever seen a human being run in my life. When Maclin made the catch, I saw Hyde try to take the right angle but no way was he getting there. Then I see Shields like he's on 4 wheels, my mouth wide open. Granted, I've never attended a track meet before, but Shields got wheels. It was unreal.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

September 30, 2015 at 12:55 am

For those who discount stats, Maclin ran a 4.43 forty at his pro day. That is fast. Shields ran a 4.30 at his pro day. The differential is .13 and it sometimes matters, and sometimes it is overrated. [I compare pro day to pro day because Shields did not run at the combine. Maclin ran a 4.48 at the combine.]

http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=66392&draftyear=...
http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=65770&draftyear=...

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croatpackfan's picture

September 30, 2015 at 04:24 am

Go and watch Usain Bolt. I wonder if he would like to play for Packers. Teach him how to catch the ball and you'll have 5 TD per game with 80 yards+ plays ;-). He is amazing, he runs 100 m for 9.7 seconds, that means he runs 40 in less than 4 seconds...

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TommyG's picture

September 29, 2015 at 08:33 pm

One of the lamest parts of the "home of the chiefs" chant is that there were enough chefs fans in the crowd to make that terrible chant audible on national TV. Shame on those season ticket holders who only keep their tickets to profit from internet sales.

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Since'61's picture

September 29, 2015 at 08:43 pm

Tommy G - totally agree. If they can't go to the game they should donate their tickets to one of the many Veterans organizations and give disabled vets and/or their families the opportunity to go to a game. Provided they are Packer fans of course! Thanks, Since '61

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porupack's picture

September 30, 2015 at 04:48 am

James Jones deserves Game Ball. He demoralized the KC DBs each time he caught, then fought for yards after the catch. He is so in sync with Aaron Rodgers, and we shouldn't take it for granted that its easy just because they played previously. Many receiver-QB tandems really hit their stride after week 3 or 4. But these two hit it from the first play of the season. Yes, Rodgers is unreal, but it still takes two. JJ deserves.

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