Behind Rodgers, Packers build big lead to beat Chiefs 38-28
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers thinks his offense is just getting started.
Just imagine what he could accomplish with a full complement of healthy weapons.
Rodgers dissected another defense in painstakingly methodical fashion, throwing for 333 yards and five touchdowns in Green Bay's 38-28 win on Monday night over the Kansas City Chiefs.
''I just think we're scratching the surface a little bit,'' Rodgers said.
Randall Cobb, who is playing while recovering from a sprained right shoulder, had three touchdown catches. James Jones, who was signed before the season to replace injured veteran Jordy Nelson, had seven catches for 139 yards.
The Packers (3-0) have done most of their damage the last two games with wideout Davante Adams sidelined by a sprained ankle.
The offense is still churning out points.
''Aaron is a phenomenal player ... and playing great football,'' McCarthy said with a laugh. ''I'll just keep saying it.''
Rodgers gives credit to his offensive line. He was sacked once and was under duress for spurts from Chiefs pressure.
But Rodgers, who finished 24 of 35, again burned a secondary on free-play situations following defensive penalties. The longest gain 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 (1-2) 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.
Some other notes and takeaways from Monday's game:
LATE RUSH: Jamaal 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. 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.
FOR STATERS: Rodgers led the Packers on two successful first-quarter drives that ended with scoring passes to Cobb and rookie Ty Montgomery. For Montgomery, it was his first NFL touchdown.
Rodgers found Jones for a 27-yard touchdown reception late in the second quarter for a 24-7 lead at the break.
FOR STARTERS, PART 2: Quarterback Alex Smith finished 24 of 40 for 290 yards and a touchdown. But the first half was brutal, when Smith was 2 of 7 for 39 yards.
''I'll watch the tape on that,'' he said when asked to evaluate Smith's night. ''That's my responsibility, though, whatever, the whole thing here, offensively and defensively. It's my responsibility.''
GROUND CONTROL: Despite his three scores, Charles was limited to 49 yards rushing on 11 carries and 33 yards on five catches by the Packers defense. The offense's ability to build big leads feeds into the Packers' plan of making the opposing offense one-sided. It helps when the Packers can stop the running game, too.
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.''
STREAK STOPPED: 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.
The score offered little solace to Maclin.
''Not even, man,'' he said. ''We lost the game.''
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
Follow Genaro Armas at http://twitter.com/GArmasAP