Report card vs. Chiefs

Packers get high marks for second consecutive road victory

PASSING OFFENSE: A-minus -- All the not-so-quiet rumblings about how the deep ball has passed 38-year-old Brett Favre by can cease for at least another season with him on the field. He won two games in a span of less than a week, both on the road in raucous venues no less, by putting long throws on the money to a sprinting Greg Jennings.

The 60-yarder with three minutes left in Sunday's game, not unlike the 82-yarder in overtime against Denver last Monday night, wasn't originally supposed to transpire based on the play-call that was made. Favre, though, remains one of the shrewdest QBs in the game and has added to his legacy as a master of improvisation.

Buoyed as well by a 44-yard heave to Donald Driver (five catches, 99 yards) earlier in the fourth quarter that led to a field goal and a 48-yard catch-and-run by tight end Donald Lee, Favre rolled up 360 yards through the air for his second-biggest performance of the season. His heroics down the stretch more than made up for two interceptions in the first half, the first of which was on a scrambling overthrow of Jennings down the field and the second of which was caused by a hit Favre took.

The Chiefs were relentless early with pressure by the front seven and occasionally handled the Packers line, particularly left guard Daryn Colledge, but the unit stiffened as the game progressed and allowed only one sack. Colledge is under the gun and is a candidate to be replaced in the starting lineup.

RUSHING OFFENSE: C -- Ryan Grant wasn't nearly half as productive as he was in his coming-out party at Denver, when he churned out 104 yards after relieving an injured DeShawn Wynn for the final three quarters. On Sunday, Grant had just 31 yards on 10 carries at halftime.

The opening two quarters were marred by a dropped exchange from Favre, which right tackle Mark Tauscher recovered. Grant had a firm grasp of the football in the third quarter and ran with authority through a few holes that finally opened, getting a key 12-yard gain two plays before Favre's first of two TD throws to Jennings.

Grant, though, was limited to 55 yards (average of 2.9 per carry) before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a slight concussion. Rookie Brandon Jackson, making his first appearance in more than a month, did what was asked of him -- hold onto the football -- in making three straight runs in Chiefs territory to position Mason Crosby closer for an insurance field goal late in the game.

PASS DEFENSE: B-minus -- The secondary was in danger of being the collective goat. Strong safety Atari Bigby had his second straight poor outing, getting called for pass interference in the end zone to set up an easy Chiefs touchdown right before halftime and later being schooled by tight end Tony Gonzalez for a 17-yard touchdown catch with five-plus minutes to go that put Kansas City ahead 22-16.

Charles Woodson was guilty of pass interference right before that score, one of four penalties called against the savvy cornerback. Woodson, though, atoned with an interception of an off-the-mark throw from Damon Huard over the middle and skipped into the end zone from 46 yards to seal the victory with less than a minute left.

Earlier, linebacker A.J. Hawk asserted himself with his first interception of the season, making a big break on a throw intended for Priest Holmes and giving the offense a short field to respond with the first Jennings touchdown.

Gonzalez followed the season-long script of the Packers' inability to cover tight ends, accounting for the bulk of the Kansas City offense with 10 catches for 109 yards. The Packers rolled a host of would-be stoppers toward him, including Woodson and Al Harris from the corner spots and even defensive end Aaron Kampman to try to jam him off the line. Aside from a screen pass Larry Johnson turned into an athletic 30-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter, no other pass catcher gave the defense fits.

Sustained pressure up front helped in that matter, as the Packers sacked Huard five times, with two apiece by Corey Williams and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- The loss of Johnson in the fourth quarter was probably bigger for the Chiefs for him being more of a threat in the open as a receiver than as a runner. His workhorse style on the ground didn't amount to much against suffocating resistance posed by Green Bay's front group, which controlled the line of scrimmage between the tackles.

Johnson mustered but 2.8 yards per carry in 19 attempts. Williams had a solid all-around game (team-high six tackles), which was curtailed by a knee injury in the third quarter. Fellow tackle Ryan Pickett was impressive in playing with a bruised knee that put his status for the game in question.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A-minus -- As definitive as Woodson's interception return for the TD was in an electric fourth quarter, his season-long punt return of 27 yards to the Chiefs' 31 was paramount for two reasons. First, enough time was taken off the clock to bring about the two-minute warning and not give Kansas City an extra stoppage as it tried to regain possession down 23-22. Second, the series started well within Crosby's range, and he delivered from 45 yards, his fourth make in five attempts.

Crosby connected from 48 yards to start the scoring way back in the second quarter. His only miss came from 52 yards and was pushed slightly to the left.

Jon Ryan had just two punts but pounded both for a gross of 57.5 and a net of 50.5.

Koren Robinson, playing his first game in more than a year after serving a league-imposed suspension, was feeling his way on kickoff returns and averaged but 20 yards in three runbacks.

Two penalties (pass interference on Jarrett Bush and 12 men on the field when Woodson ran on at the last moment) gave the Chiefs three shots to punch in a two-point conversion for a 22-16 lead in the final period.

COACHING: A-minus -- Mike McCarthy owes his aides up in the coaches' box a nice dinner or an early Christmas gift for alerting him to a non-catch by Jeff Webb with the game on the line in the final three minutes after the go-ahead touchdown by Jennings. Since the Chiefs took their time in getting up to the line, McCarthy cashed in with a successful challenge that wiped out a 36-yard completion to the Packers' 42.

A head-scratching decision was made a short time later, however, when strong-legged Crosby squibbed his kickoff after the field goal that had the Packers up 26-22. The Chiefs were handed a short field, starting at their 34, with 1:35 left, but Woodson made it a moot point three plays later with his pick.

Discipline, or lack thereof, remains a sore spot after two straight games with 13 penalties. Still, the coaching staff directed the league's youngest team to the unlikeliest of back-to-back road wins on a short schedule and has it firmly positioned at 7-1 for a second-half run toward division and conference titles.

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