The Green Bay Packers took the field with fans hoping to finish up with a 4-0 preseason start, but the Packers looked to just get into the regular season healthy and spending a full game evaluating the back half of the roster. Before the game started the Packers announced a list of starters who would not dress, including Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Eddie Lacy, Clay Matthews and many others. Further, in an odd turn of fate, one of the players garnering the most interest was new-comer Jacob Schum the new punter.
With the remaining members of the 75-man roster ready to make their last run at the roster, the Packers took to the field at venerable Arrowhead Stadium.
Here is how the game went:
The half did not start with a bang. Both teams struggled to move the ball. The Packers defense forced three straight three-and-outs to start things off. The third Kansas City possession was concluded by a blocked punt by Ty Montgomery. The Packers took over at the Kansas City 14 yard line. A nine yard pass to Davante Adams set up a five yard touchdown to the right corner of the end zone to Jared Cook.
This was really the highlight of the Packers’ first half. With essentially the third string offense going against the Kansas City second string, the Packers struggled to maintain consistency. Joe Callahan finished the first quarter 6/8 for 49 yards and a touchdown, but ended the half with 11/17 for 121 yards.
The Packers had two chances to show the ability to narrow a gap late in the half. Packers got the ball with 4:15 left down 14-7. Callahan completed the biggest play of the first half when he connected with Jared Abbrederis for a 40 yard gain. Shortly after this, Callahan hit Casey Pierce moving downfield, but Pierce put the ball on the ground in a close call that was ruled a fumble all the way through the replay.
The Chiefs started running a lot faster and gained a great deal of momentum after the three straight three-and-outs. Tyler Bray started off looking a bit shaky, but started hitting some intermediate routes to move the Chiefs steadily down the field. Kansas City got in close and scored two rushing touchdowns. Bray started off completing only four of his first 11 passes, but ended the game 10/17 for 104 yards.
Right before the end of the half the Packers saw one drive from Aaron Murray before getting a final possession with 2:18 on the clock and the ball on the Kansas City 49 yard line. The Packers ran one play, saw the two minute warning, then had a penalty and three incomplete passes and the Chiefs still had time to get in field goal range to finish the half with a 17-7 Chiefs lead.
The Packers depth in the defensive backfield showed as the Packers picked off Aaron Murray on each of the first two possessions. Nothing came of these plays as neither team put up any points in the third quarter. Knile Davis playing all the way into the fourth quarter seemed to wear on the far back end of the roster. The Packers and Chiefs each had 12 rushes in the first half, but the Chiefs had 45 yards to the Packers 25. Brandon Burks and Brandon Ross each had their chances to impress with extended playing time, but neither seemed to find any daylight.
The Packers never managed to sustain a drive of more than 12 yards through 6:29 remaining in the game. The Chiefs managed three drives that reached 20 yards or more, but two of those drives ended in interceptions and one ended with a punt. Rubbing salt in the wound, Jared Abbrederis returned that punt for 42 yards.
Marquise Williams came into the game after the Packers got the ball back with 6:29 left. Two runs and an incomplete pass later and the Packers punted again. As Callahan’s day, and preseason, came to an end we saw a little tarnish to the shine that has been this preseason. Callahan struggled getting the ball to receivers in deep routes. Callahan still showed a good elusiveness, but far too many three and outs with the team still within striking distance.
The Packers defense managed some important turnovers and pulled one more take away with 4:11 left in the game. Marquise Williams started this drive at Kansas City 39 after Demetri Goodson recovered the Darrin Reaves fumble. Williams attempted a deep pass that fell incomplete, but draw a defensive pass interference call. An incomplete pass and two runs with minimal game and the Packers were sitting 4th and Goal from the Kansas City 1 yard line and stopped the clock with 2:49 left. The Packers lined up with three wide outs and tried to run off tackle, but Ross was caught in the backfield for a loss of two. With this Ross ended the day with 10 carries for 24 yards (2.4 yards per carry). Brandon Burks saw 12 carries for a total of 31 yards (2.6 yards per carry), but also a key fumble. By comparison Davis and Reaves combined for 31 carries, 121 yards (3.9 yards per carry) and two touchdowns.
Kyler Fackrell led all defensive players with tackles and solo tackles. He also had a sack in this game. Fackrell was seemingly everywhere for this defense tonight and made the most of his time. Abbrederis returned all the punts tonight and average 14.2 yards per return on 5 returns. Abbrederis also led Packers receivers with 49 receiving yards on two catches. There was also a third catch that would have been an eight yard gain and a third down conversion, but a penalty elsewhere ruined that. Jacob Schum also looked very good in his debut. He had good hang time and good placement, something that was sadly missing from Tim Masthay and Peter Mortell.