GREEN BAY – The Packers are a win away from achieving their goal of a fast start.
“4-0 was the goal. That’s what we’re looking for. We’ve got to clean this game up and get on the 49ers,” Coach Mike McCarthy said following a 38-28 win over visiting Kansas City that wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate.
It was in every way – except for the final minutes of the game – a dominant Packers performance.
The defense, led by an unblockable Mike Daniels, sacked KC quarterback Alex Smith seven times. Daniels was credited with 1.5 of those sacks. He also registered a tackle for a loss, a hurry and a forced fumble.
Dom Capers’ unit held the Chiefs to three yards of offense in the first quarter, and had forced the Chiefs into seven possessions of three or fewer plays through three quarters of the game.
“The focus was to stop the run,” McCarthy said.
Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, who rushed for 182 yards through the first two games of the season, was held to 49 yards by the Packers.
Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers put on a quarterbacking clinic for a national television audience. Rodgers threw for 333 yards, five touchdowns and a 138.5 passer rating. His play, combined with the defense’s, had the Packers on top, 31-7, midway through the third quarter.
“Excellent team win. Offensively, it starts with Aaron Rodgers and the ability to keep us in run/pass,” McCarthy said, referring to balance between run and pass early in the game that helped quiet the Chiefs’ pass rush.
Randall Cobb caught three of Rodgers’ touchdown passes, and James Jones and Ty Montgomery each caught one. Cobb and Jones have four touchdown catches each through three games.
“Randall ran excellent routes and did a great job of bulldozing into the end zone,” McCarthy said.
Rodgers credited his offensive line for the pass protection it afforded.
“The key starts up front. We protected really well, and that’s a great front. We held their edge guys to one sack. That’s pretty impressive,” Rodgers said.
“They wanted to stop the run for sure. If you’re going to do that, it’s man across the board. We know we have to win those matchups. On a wet field tonight, that played to our advantage,” Rodgers added, referring to his receivers winning their individual matchups against Kansas City defensive backs.
“We’re 3-0. You have to find ways to win these games early in the season,” McCarthy said.
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