The 1972 Miami Dolphins can pop the champagne. They remain the only perfect team in NFL history.
The Green Bay Packers suffered their first loss of the season today in Kansas City, coming out looking uninspired and losing to the Chiefs 19-14.
It was a tremendous performance by Kyle Orton, making his first start at quarterback for the Chiefs, and a tremendous performance by Romeo Crennel, in his first game as the Chiefs’ interim head coach, six days after being named to replace the fired Todd Haley. Crennel got a well-deserved Gatorade shower from his teammates as the Chiefs kneeled down to seal the win.
But just as much as it was a great performance by Crennel’s troops, it was a lousy performance by the Packers, both on offense and on defense. This game wasn’t as close as the final score indicated: The Chiefs out-gained the Packers by more than 100 yards and controlled the game throughout.
The Packers remain the favorites to repeat as Super Bowl champions, but the Chiefs showed that the Packers are more vulnerable than their 13-0 record heading into this game suggested. We already knew that opposing offenses can move the ball against the Packers, and the Chiefs have shown that Aaron Rodgers is mortal after all.
For the Packers, injuries may be an even bigger concern than the fact that their record is no longer unblemished. Last week receiver Greg Jennings went down with a knee injury, and this week the Packers lost two offensive linemen: Starter Bryan Bulaga left with an injured knee, and then first-round rookie Derek Sherrod, who came in to replace Bulaga, broke his leg.
Those injuries will likely inspire the Packers to preserve their key players when they clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. But that will have to wait. This week, with the Packers having a chance to clinch home-field advantage and to stay perfect, it was the Chiefs who took care of business.