Former Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer often quipped the most easily forgotten game in an NFL season is the final preseason game.
And the Chiefs, or more specifically, their backups, played a game they’d like to soon forget in Thursday night’s 34-14 loss to Green Bay’s reserves at historic Lambeau Field.
The Chiefs, who open the regular season on Sept. 7 at home against Tennessee, finished the preseason 1-3, losing three straight by an aggregate 50 points.
Although the game was played by at least 22 players on each team who won’t be around after Saturday night’s roster reductions from 75 to 53, the most alarming number for coach Andy Reid (and Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy) had to be the number of penalties called.
The Chiefs were flagged 14 times for 131 penalty yards and at least six of the nine players who were penalized should make the 53-man roster. The Packers were flagged nine times for 81 yards as the officials continue to emphasize illegal contact and defensive holding.
But the Chiefs had four penalties on offense and one on special teams as well.
Green Bay was guilty of its share of penalties as well. When Chiefs fourth-team quarterback Aaron Murray led his team on an 80-yard touchdown drive at the end of the third quarter, the Packers were called for four defensive penalties, including roughing the passer fouls on consecutive plays.
That enabled Joe McKnight to cap the drive with a 1-yard run, drawing the Chiefs to within 27-14 with 3 seconds left in the third period.
Murray appeared to have connected with McKnight for a 36-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter, but McKnight was called for illegal touching of the ball because he went out of bounds before catching the ball.
The sloppiness of the Chiefs was typified in the third quarter when Green Bay went 94 yards in three plays — plus two Kansas City penalties for 44 yards.
Rookie cornerback Phillip Gaines, who had been burned for a touchdown in the first half, was called for pass interference for climbing on the pack of Packers receiver Jeff Janis, a 33-yard penalty. It was the fourth penalty of the night called on Gaines, a third-round pick from Rice.
On the next play, recently signed safety Kelcie McCray was flagged for a personal foul when he hit Green Bay rookie running back LaDarius Perkins on the way out of bounds at the end of a 22-yard run, and the penalty moved the ball 11 yards to the Chiefs 11.
Perkins scored from there, giving the Packers a 27-7 lead with 6:23 left in the third quarter.
The Packers scored on their first four possessions and took a 20-0 lead before the Chiefs made it 20-7 on a 2-yard pass from quarterback Tyler Bray to tight end Richard Gordon with 3:21 left in the first half.
Frankie Hammond’s 46-yard kickoff return following a Green Bay field goal set up the Chiefs for their lone score of the first half.
On the first play of the drive, Bray hit A.J. Jenkins, who laid out for the ball along the sidelines, for a 45-yard gain to the Green Bay 9, putting the Chiefs in position for the touchdown pass to Gordon. Jenkins left the game at halftime because of a concussion.
The big pass play from Bray to Jenkins atoned for an interception earlier in the quarter when Jenkins appeared to cut his route short and Bray’s pass was anticipated and intercepted by Packers cornerback Jarrett Bush.
The Chiefs’ second-team offense, led by quarterback Chase Daniel, picked up two first downs on the opening drive but couldn’t sustain anything. Tight end Demetrius Harris couldn’t latch onto Davis’ low pass at the Packers 43, snuffing the drive.
Daniel went three-and-out in the next possession, which started at the Chiefs’ 10; Tyler Bray replaced him and went three-and-out starting from the 8 and then threw the interception that set up a 42-yard field goal by Green Bay’s Mason Crosby goal for the 20-0 lead.
Packers backup quarterback Matt Flynn had little trouble moving the ball against the Chiefs’ second-team defense. He hit a wide open Davante Adams, who got between rookie cornerback Phillip Gaines and safety Daniel Sorensen on a 22-yard post pattern for a 7-0 lead.
After Crosby made a 29-yard field goal, Green Bay’s third-team quarterback, Scott Tolzien, on a fourth-and-3 from the Chiefs’ 33, found rookie Jeff Janis, who badly beat Gaines for an easy touchdown and 17-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
The Chiefs were their own worst enemies because of penalties. Two weeks after they were flagged 13 times at Carolina, they were penalized seven times for 41 yards in the first half — four times on defense, twice on offense and once on special teams — and the Packers declined one penalty.
The second half didn’t start much better when Gaines was called for illegal contact on the first play of the third quarter, his second penalty of the game; and right tackle Donald Stephenson was called for illegal hands to the face, his second penalty of the night.
GB—D.Adams 22 pass from Flynn (Crosby kick), 5:38.
GB—FG Crosby 29, 13:26.
GB—Janis 33 pass from Tolzien (Crosby kick), 8:13.
GB—FG Crosby 42, 5:11.
KC—Gordon 2 pass from Bray (Succop kick), 3:21.
GB—Perkins 11 pass from Flynn (Crosby kick), 6:23.
KC—McKnight 1 run (Santos kick), :03.
GB—M.White 6 pass from Tolzien (Crosby kick), 9:43.
Total Net Yards
Time of Possession
RUSHING—Kansas City, McKnight 10-50, Gray 4-27, Davis 6-24, Daniel 1-3, Murray 1-3. Green Bay, Perkins 8-45, Hill 13-40, Harris 5-20, Starks 5-17, Tolzien 5-12, Flynn 2-11.
PASSING—Kansas City, Bray 8-15-1-116, Murray 5-10-0-39, Daniel 4-7-0-34. Green Bay, Tolzien 12-18-0-139, Flynn 7-15-0-102.
RECEIVING—Kansas City, Wilson 4-34, F.Williams 3-44, Davis 2-11, Jenkins 1-45, Harrison 1-15, D.Harris 1-10, Hammond Jr. 1-8, Kelce 1-8, McKnight 1-7, Thomas 1-5, Gordon 1-2. Green Bay, M.White 4-36, Stoneburner 3-35, D.Adams 2-35, Gillett 2-23, Janis 1-33, R.Taylor 1-19, R.Rodgers 1-17, Dorsey 1-11, Perkins 1-11, Boykin 1-9, Hill 1-6, Quarless 1-6.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—None.