Rodgers throws for 5 TDs, Packers beat Chiefs 38-28
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Packers coach Mike McCarthy is running out of superlatives to describe Aaron Rodgers.
Every week, his MVP quarterback dissects defenses in painstakingly methodical fashion.
Rodgers threw for 333 yards and five touchdowns, including three to Randall Cobb, and Green Bay beat the Kansas City Chiefs 38-28 on Monday night.
Rodgers led the Packers (3-0) on two successful first-quarter drives that ended with scoring passes to Cobb and rookie Ty Montgomery. He found James Jones for a 27-yard touchdown reception late in the second quarter for a 24-7 lead at the break.
''Aaron is a phenomenal player ... and playing great football,'' McCarthy said with a laugh. ''I'll just keep saying it.''
Green Bay built a 38-14 lead early in the fourth quarter before withstanding a late rush by Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs.
Charles rushed for three touchdowns for Kansas City (1-2), which followed its stunning, last-minute loss at home to Denver with a respectable fourth-quarter effort at raucous Lambeau Field.
Charles' 7-yard TD with 1:25 left got the Chiefs within 10. But the end result was the same for Kansas City, which lost its second straight.
''Green Bay did a nice job,'' said a curt Chiefs coach Andy Reid.
Another masterful performance by Rodgers made for a difficult night for Reid's defense.
Rodgers, who finished 24 of 35, again burned a secondary on free-play situations following defensive penalties. The longest play came on a 52-yard catch in the fourth quarter by Jones following an offside penalty, setting up Cobb's third touchdown catch.
''His ability to really process information is as good as I've ever been around,'' McCarthy said about Rodgers.
The Chiefs were on alert for Rodgers' tendency to take advantage of free plays.
They still got beat.
''This is not acceptable, and coach Andy Reid is not happy,'' Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson said.
The offense's ability to build big leads feeds into the Packers' philosophy of making the opposing offense one-sided. It helps when the Packers can stop the running game, too.
Despite the three touchdown runs, the Packers prevented Charles from making explosive plays, limiting him to 49 yards on 11 carries.
Up front, Green Bay controlled the line of scrimmage when it counted and got to Alex Smith for seven sacks.
''Forcing (them) to punt that first half was pretty boring, being on the sideline,'' linebacker Clay Matthews said. ''But, hopefully, this is just an indication of where we're headed as a defense.''
Smith finished 24 of 40 for 290 yards and a touchdown.
Under pressure near his own end zone, Smith also threw an interception to Sam Shields at the Chiefs' 19 with about 7 minutes left in the third quarter. Shields returned it 15 yards, and on the next play, Rodgers found Cobb for a 4-yard touchdown and a 31-7 lead.
Rodgers and Cobb hooked up for another 4-yard scoring pass in the fourth. With the score, Rodgers set the franchise record with his fourth career game of at least five touchdown passes.
''That's a Hall of Fame quarterback, and we give him much respect,'' Johnson said. ''It's not panic mode, but if we want to do good down the stretch, we're going to have to play a lot better against really good teams.''
Kansas City stopped its long streak of no touchdown receptions by a receiver when Jeremy Maclin hauled in a 5-yard TD pass with 56 seconds left in the third quarter to get the Chiefs within 31-14.
It was the first touchdown pass caught by a receiver since Donnie Avery had a 79-yard catch-and-run against the Indianapolis Colts in a wild card game on Jan. 4, 2014.
NOTES: A week after fumbling twice, Charles had a little fun with his own Lambeau Leap into the awaiting arms of Chiefs fans following his 4-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. ... CB Phillip Gaines left late in the first quarter with a sprained knee, further depleting a thin position for Kansas City. ... For Green Bay, Jones finished with seven catches for 139 yards and a score. ... WR Davante Adams left following the first series after re-aggravating a left ankle injury. ... Also leaving the game for the Packers were TE Andrew Quarless (knee) and DL Datone Jones (head).
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