Champagne bottles were popping across south Florida as the Chiefs kept alive slim playoff hopes and spoiled Green Bay's bid for history-making perfection today with a 19-14 victory at Arrowhead Stadium.
It was the Packers' first loss in 364 days, since a 31-27 loss at New England in week 15 last season, snapping a streak of 19 consecutive victories.
Green Bay's juggernaut offense, which entered the game leading the NFL in scoring average by nearly four points per game, looked positively pedestrian — especially during a first half that saw the Packers go scoreless for the first time since week 17 last season while racking up only 89 yards and five first downs.
Whether inspired to play hard for interim coach Romeo Crennel, who took over when Todd Haley was fired Monday, or energized by Kyle Orton's first start, the Chiefs pinned the undefeated Packers against the ropes early and withstood a furious (and desperate) fourth-quarter rally by the reigning Super Bowl champions.
Presumptive MVP Aaron Rodgers was far from sharp particularly after fumbling on Green Bay's first drive when Chiefs' rush linebacker Tamba Hali crunched him in the back.
But even when Rodgers' passes were on target, the Packers' receivers often dropped them.
Wide receiver Jordy Nelson, a former Kansas State star, also was flagged twice for offensive pass interference during a first half that saw Rodgers complete only six of 17 passes for 59 yards.
The Chiefs' offense, meanwhile, showed life for the first time since Matt Cassel was placed on injured reserve led by Orton, who was claimed off waivers Nov. 24 from Denver.
Orton, who dislocated the index finger on his throwing hand during the first play of his Chiefs debut Dec. 4 in Chicago, completed his first four passes for 56 yards, highlighting a 14-play march capped by Ryan Succop's 19-yard field goal.
Green Bay's initial drive was extended by a roughing the punter penalty.
The Chiefs also were penalized on Mason Crosby's 59-yard field goal miss, but the Packers still came up empty when Crosby's try from five yards closer sailed wide right as well.
Succop added a 32-yard field on the Chiefs' next drive, pumping the lead to 6-0 and that's where the score remained at halftime.
Green Bay momentarily quieted the Chiefs' half of an announced crowd of 74,093 midway through the third quarter when Rodgers hooked up with Donald Driver for a 2-yard touchdown and a 7-6 lead after Crosby's extra point.
But Orton, who connected on 23 of 31 passes for 299 yards, and tight end Leonard Pope burned a suspect Packers' defense on for 39 yards to kick off the ensuing drive – a seven-play, 61-yard march that ended with a 46-yard Succop field goal.
Succop added his fourth field goal — and his 21st in a row this season — from 20 yards out early in the fourth quarter, extending the Chiefs' lead to 12-7 with 11:28 remaining.
The Chiefs finally punched one into the end zone when running back Jackie Battle scored on a 1-yard dive with 4:57 remaining, pumping the lead to 19-7.
But Rodgers, who finished 17 for 35 for 235 yards, refused to go down without a fight, leading the Packers on an 80-yard touchdown drive in less than three minutes and keeping things interesting with an 8-yard TD scramble.
With three timeouts plus the two-minute warning remaining, Green Bay had ample time to complete the comeback, but the Packers' ensuing onside kick try went out of bounds and the Chiefs ran out the clock by picking up two first downs on sweeps around the left end.