The Kansas City Chiefs ended their preseason on a high note with a win over the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night. Matt Bushman had both touchdowns for the home side in the 17-10 victory from Arrowhead.
Rodgers and Mahomes sit
It was the final tune up of the preseason, and both Andy Reid and Matt LaFleur were cautious as to who to the put out on the field. Putting their stars at risk of injury in the last game before the regular season starts not worth it for either coach.
The two stars of their respective sides, Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers sat the entire game as the back ups started under center. Mahomes had played in the previous two games, while Rodgers sat out the entire preseason. The reigning two time MVP hasn’t played a preseason game since 2018.
Mahomes did come out for the first huddle, which was on honorary gesture to pay homage to the late Len Dawson who passed away this week. He came out for the huddle, but then let back up, Chad Henne take over for the first Chiefs drive of the night.
Buechele ignites the Chiefs offense
After swapping three and outs on the opening three drives, the Chiefs got the opening score of the game when KC took advantage of some good field position. A holding call just as the home side was approaching the red zone halted the drive and Harrison Bunker hit a 44 yard field goal to open up the scoring.
With no Aaron Rodgers, it was once again Jordan Love’s time to shine. He entered the third preseason game having played virtually every snap up until Thursday. The former first round draft pick played for the better part of three quarters in the final game before the regular season, and led an 11 play, 83-yard touchdown drive after starting the night with consecutive three and outs.
Henne sat, and the Chiefs brought in Shane Buechele who looked like he added a different dynamic to the offense. Buechele, who spent most of last season on the practice squad, went 4/4 for 79 yards including a 54 yard touchdown to Matt Bushman on his first possession to give the Chiefs back the lead.
Defense does the rest for KC
Just before half, Love led the Packers all the way to 1st and Goal on the KC 1 yard line, but Green Bay couldn’t punch it in after a false start made matters more difficult. Coach LaFleur and the Packers settled for a 23 yard Ramiz Ahmed field goal to tie the game going into the half.
The lone score of the second half would come in the first drive of the third quarter when Buechele hit Bushman again, this time on a two yard TD pass to put the Chiefs in the drivers seat.
From there on the Chiefs defense took control, which KC fans will be hoping they see more of this year after the defense looked dodgy at best at times last season.
Time to focus on Week 1
Love came out of the game late in the third quarter after going 16/26 for 148 yards and an interception. Samori Toure had a nice final showing of the preseason, catching six passes for 83 yards to lead the Packers receivers.
Buechele went 11/17 for 166 yards and two touchdowns, both to Bushman who ended the night with three catches and 73 yards receiving.
Both teams will now set their sight on Week 1 of the NFL regular season, which starts on the second weekend in September. The Chiefs will play the Arizona Cardinals and the Packers will open the season with an NFC North rivalry game against the Minnesota Vikings.