The Chiefs may have played the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night, but their focus was clearly on Jacksonville.
Chiefs coach Andy Reid held out all of his starters in the preseason finale, a 30-8 win at Arrowhead Stadium, and kept them rested and healthy for the Sept. 8 regular-season opener at Jacksonville.
The Packers were of a similar mind. Star quarterback Aaron Rodgers sat out the game, and the rest of the Green Bay starters played one series before they were removed.
The Chiefs, in Reid’s first season in Kansas City, finished the preseason 2-2, the first time they have won two exhibition games in a season since 2008. The Packers, who open on Sept. 8 at San Francisco, finished the preseason 1-3.
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Rookie quarterback Tyler Bray excited a crowd announced at 65,053 by throwing three touchdown passes as the Chiefs rolled up their most points in a preseason game since scoring 31 against Seattle in 2003.
Chiefs backup Chase Daniel opened the game at quarterback with the second-teamers and had a night to forget. Daniel completed four of eight passes for 27 yards, including an interception on the first offensive play of the game. Daniel was sacked twice, once when he held on to the ball too long, and his passer rating was 18.2
Bray took over early in the second quarter and completed 14 of 24 passes for 146 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Bray’s biggest play came in the third quarter when he threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Josh Bellamy, who was wide open down the sidelines after defender Brandon Smith slipped and fell. The play gave the Chiefs a 20-6 lead.
The Packers sacked Bray in the end zone for a safety late in the third quarter.
Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop made all three of his field-goal attempts, including a 48-yarder that made it 23-8 early in the fourth quarter.
The Chiefs led 13-6 at halftime after Bray hit wide receiver Junior Hemingway with an 8-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds to play in the half.
It was the second touchdown catch in two weeks for Hemingway, a seventh-round pick in 2012 who spent all but the last week of the season on the practice squad.
Bray produced points on two of his three second-quarter possessions, including the touchdown in the 2-minute drill.
Bray completed passes on consecutive plays of 7 yards to Hemingway; 13 yards to tight end Kevin Brock and 8 yards to A.J. Jenkins before scrambling for 7 yards to the Packers 13. After stopping the clock by spiking the ball, Bray hit Hemingway in the right side of the end zone for the touchdown.
On the opening play of the night, Daniel overthrew A.J. Jenkins and was intercepted by the Packers’ Tramon Williams, who returned it 35 yards to the Chiefs’ 40.
The Packers’ first-teamers played the ensuing series, minus quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who gave way to former Tennessee Titans and University of Texas star Vince Young. The Chiefs’ second teams kept the Packers from making a first down, and Green Bay settled for a 48-yard field goal by Mason Crosby for a 3-0.
Daniel was unable to move the Chiefs in their next two possessions — a three-and-out and one first down on an 11-yard pass to rookie tight end Travis Kelce — before the Packers turned it over.
Chiefs linebacker Frank Zombo, who spent the last three seasons with the Packers before signing with Kansas City as a free agent in the offseason, made a leaping interception of a pass by B.J. Coleman and returned it 47 yards to the Green Bay 14.
Daniel hit running back Knile Davis on a wheel route for 8 yards to the 6, but then he was sacked on two consecutive plays. Daniel held on to the ball too long on the first sack, and he was blindsided on a corner blitz by the Packers Micah Hide, dropping the Chiefs back to the Green Bay 24.
Succop salvaged the possession with a 37-yard field goal, tying the game with 3:49 left in the first quarter.
Bray replaced Daniel with 11:37 to play in the first half, and aided by a 15-yard run by third-team running back Cyrus Gray. moved the Chiefs 25 yards in six plays, setting up a 48-yard field goal by Succop that gave the Chiefs a 6-3 lead.
The Packers answered with a 45-yard field goal by Crosby, tying the game at 6-6 with 6:13 to play in the half.
Tight end trouble — The Chiefs could be in a world of hurt at tight end, a position that is critical in Andy Reid’s West Coast offense. Rookie Travis Kelce, who missed last week’s game at Pittsburgh because of a knee injury, reinjured the knee on Thursday night. That, coupled with the expected absence of Tony Moeaki for much, if not all, season because of a shoulder fracture, leaves what appeared to be a position of strength woefully thin. The backups to Anthony Fasano and Kelce are journeyman Kevin Brock, who is with his eighth team since 2009, and Demetrius Harris, a converted college basketball player.
Chiefs 30, Packers 8
GB—FG Crosby 48, 12:53.
KC—FG Succop 37, 3:49.
KC—FG Succop 48, 8:50.
GB—FG Crosby 45, 6:13.
KC—Hemingway 8 pass from Bray (Succop kick), :05.
KC—Bellamy 43 pass from Bray (Succop kick), 6:03.
GB—Barrington safety, 1:44.
KC—FG Succop 48, 12:19.
KC—Hammond 9 pass from Bray (Succop kick), 5:14.
|Total Net Yards||218||262|
|Time of Possession||29:55||30:05|
RUSHING—Green Bay, Franklin 8-23, Starks 3-14, Young 3-12, Green 7-10, Lacy 2-1, Amosa 1-1. Kansas City, Gray 13-72, Draughn 4-18, Bray 2-14, Daniel 1-5, Davis 4-3.
PASSING—Green Bay, Young 14-30-0-144, Coleman 2-7-1-19. Kansas City, Bray 14-25-1-169, Daniel 4-8-1-27.
RECEIVING—Green Bay, Walker 5-30, Ross 3-50, White 2-35, Franklin 2-11, R.Taylor 1-24, Bostick 1-11, D.Williams 1-2, Green 1-0. Kansas City, Hemingway 7-80, Bellamy 2-54, Jenkins 2-14, Davis 2-8, Gray 2-7, Brock 1-13, Kelce 1-11, Hammond 1-9.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—None.