The Packers were left for dead after a 3-6 start, but back-to-back-to-back wins over the Chargers, Lions and now Chiefs have them back in the playoff race.
Green Bay moved to 6-6 with a 27-19 upset of the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football. None of the Packers’ remaining opponents currently has a winning record.
The Chiefs fell to 8-4, putting a dent in their hopes of winning the No. 1 overall seed yet again.
The Packers, who were 6-point underdogs, never trailed. They led 14-6 at halftime and took a 21-12 advantage into the fourth quarter. Still, Kansas City had a chance.
The Chiefs’ final three possessions ended in a punt, an interception by cornerback Keisean Nixon and a Hail Mary that fell incomplete.
After Nixon’s interception with 5:14 left, the Packers burned off 4:05 and got a 48-yard field goal from rookie kicker Anders Carlson. That left Patrick Mahomes trailing by eight with 1:09 left.
The Packers gave the Chiefs an additional 5 yards on the kickoff with an offsides penalty before madness ensued. Officials blew three (or four) calls and replay overturned a Rashee Rice fumble that Corey Ballentine returned for a touchdown. Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco was ejected for throwing a punch during Ballentine’s run for naught.
Kansas City received a gift with an unnecessary roughness penalty on safety Jonathan Owens, who hit Mahomes legally in bounds. But officials disregarded Packers defensive back Carrington Valentine’s blatant pass interference penalty on Chiefs receiver Marquez Valdez-Scantling inside the 10-yard line. Officials also erroneously stopped the clock with 19 seconds left when Valdes-Scantling went out of bounds toward the line of scrimmage after a 9-yard gain to the Green Bay 33.
From the 33, Mahomes threw three incompletions, including a Hail Mary on the final play that saw Travis Kelce pushed in the back out of the play.
The Packers, though, outplayed the Chiefs, outgaining them 382 to 337. Jordan Love completed 25 of 36 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns. Christian Watson caught two touchdown passes, including a highlight-reel 12-yarder. But he was injured on a 10-yard reception with 3:08 left, immediately grabbing the back of his leg.
Mahomes went 21-of-33 for 210 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Pacheco had 18 carries for 110 yards and a touchdown, and Kelce caught four passes for 81 yards.
Packers coach Matt LaFleur now is 16-0 in December in his career as a head coach.