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(Sunday, December 18th)
Final Score: Kansas City 19, Green Bay 14
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - On one sideline stood Romeo Crennel, celebrating with his Chiefs players and dripping wet from a sports drink shower as the clock ran down on a victory.
On the other stood Aaron Rodgers the Packers, defeated for the first time in a year.
Crennel's defense was dominant, the Chiefs' offense did just enough in Kyle Orton's first start, and Kansas City ended Green Bay's 19-game winning streak with a 19-14 win at Arrowhead Stadium.
"They played their hearts out and that's the thing that we talked to those guys about with a Green Bay Packers team coming in here that was undefeated. Everybody had marked this off as a win for the Packers," Crennel said.
The Packers carried the second-longest winning streak in NFL history into Sunday's game, but suffered their first loss since last December 19 at New England.
Green Bay (13-1) was chasing the 2003-04 Patriots' all-time record of 21 consecutive victories, but was largely ineffective on offense. Rodgers threw for 235 yards and a touchdown, and ran for a score with 2:04 remaining.
But the Chiefs (5-8) gained several first downs to run down the clock and secure the victory.
"I've viewed the undefeated season as gravy. The goal is to get the homefield advantage and win the Super Bowl. ... We still have the primary goal in front of us," Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said.
Green Bay could have secured the NFC's top seed with a win
It was a surprising win for a Kansas City team that experienced a lot of changes this week. The Chiefs installed Crennel as interim head coach after firing Todd Haley earlier this week.
It was Crennel's first experience as head coach since being fired by the Browns after the 2008 season. Cleveland went 24-40 in his four seasons.
Crennel, the Chiefs' defensive coordinator, decided to bench Tyler Palko in favor of Orton, who was claimed off waivers from Denver in November. He had thrown one pass for the Chiefs and missed time because of a finger injury, but threw for 299 yards Sunday.
Ryan Succop kicked four field goals, and Jackie Battle ran for the decisive score with five minutes left in the game. Tamba Hali highlighted the defensive effort with three sacks.
While the Packers' late touchdown made the score close, the game was mostly one-sided. Kansas City held the ball for more than 36 minutes, gaining 438 yards and 23 first downs.
The only thing that prevented the game from being a blowout was the Chiefs' ineffectiveness in the red zone. They went 1-for-5 and had to rely on Succop for most of the game.
He kicked first-quarter field goals of 19 and 32 yards, and the Chiefs rolled into halftime with a 6-0 lead thanks to ball control and defense.
Kansas City held the ball for more than 20 minutes in the first half, allowing the Packers to have only four possessions. Green Bay couldn't do much when it did have the ball, gaining only 89 yards and punting three times. Mason Crosby also missed a 54-yard field goal in the first quarter.
Even without leading rusher James Starks and star receiver Greg Jennings, who both missed the game with injury, it was a slow start.
Green Bay seemed to turn the game around during its second possession of the third quarter. It marched 54 yards in six plays, and scored on Rodgers' two- yard pass to Donald Driver. He also connected with Jermichael Finley for a 41- yard gain.
But the Chiefs re-gained the lead on the following possession with a 46-yard kick by Succop, and their defense continued to shut down Green Bay. The Packers' next two possessions ended with a turnover on downs and a punt.
In between, Succop made a 20-yarder for a 12-7 lead, which wasn't entirely safe considering how potent the Packers' offense has been this season. Until Sunday, their season-low in points was 24, and they had averaged an NFL-best 35.8 per game.
Kansas City gained some insurance by scoring its only touchdown of the game. Orton's 16-yard pass to Anthony Becht brought the ball to the five-yard line, and Battle reached the end zone with a one-yard run on third down. The score made it a 19-7 contest with 4:53 to play, and the Chiefs needed the cushion.
Rodgers marched the Packers 80 yards to the end zone on the ensuing drive, which lasted nine plays and just under three minutes. They faced only one third down, which he converted with an eight-yard scramble into the right corner of the end zone.
With all three timeouts left, the Packers still had a chance, even after failing to recover an onsides kick. But Thomas Jones ran seven yards for a first down just after the two-minute warning, and Battle ran for 15 yards a few plays later.
Orton started his first game since Week 5, when he was still with the Broncos...Packers tackle Derek Sherrod was carted off the field with a right leg injury with 10 minutes left in the game...The Packers' Ryan Grant had a game-high 66 rushing yards...Rodgers completed 17-of-35 passes, while Orton was 23-of-31.
12/18 18:22:01 ET
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