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Week 8 Game Recap: Green Bay Packers 31, Kansas City Chiefs 24


What you need to know

Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 31-24 to improve their record to 7-1 on the season. Aaron Rodgers played brilliantly, completing 23 of 33 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Aaron Jones showed off his versatility, rushing 13 times for 67 yards, but then completely smashed the Chiefs with seven receptions for 159 yards and two receiving touchdowns. Jamaal Williams rushed seven times for 22 yards and a touchdown, while also catching three passes for 14 yards and a touchdown. Allen Lazard caught five passes for 42 yards while Geronimo Allison caught one pass for seven yards and Jake Kumerow caught two passes for 48 yards. Jimmy Graham caught three passes for 20 yards.

Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs lost to the Green Bay Packers 31-24, dropping their record to 5-3 on the season. With Patrick Mahomes missing this game, Matt Moore completed 24 of 36 passes for 267 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Lesean McCoy rushed nine times for 40 yards and caught four passes for 23 yards. Damien Williams rushed seven times for 30 yards and a touchdown. Tyreek Hill led the Chiefs receivers with six catches for 76 yards, and Sammy Watkins had five catches for 55 yards. Mecole Hardman caught two passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. Travis Kelce caught four passes for 63 yards and a touchdown.

Green Bay Packers

QB Aaron Rodgers, 69 offensive snaps, Pass: 23 - 33 - 305 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 6 - 29 - 0
Aaron Rodgers completed 23 of 35 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in the Packers in over the Chiefs on Sunday night. Rodgers also rushed six times for 29 yards, showing off his mobility and rushing prowess when getting outside the pocket. This was one of those games where Rodgers made things look so easy it would not be hard to overlook his production in favor of Jones ridiculous stat line. That would be a mistake though as Rodgers completed a master class in putting his playmakers in the best position to gain yards after the catch, and he made several throws that no quarterback in the NFL, sans Patrick Mahomes, is capable of making. Rodgers first touchdown pass came with the Packers facing a second and three from the Chiefs four yard line. Rodgers motioned Jones across the field from the right hash mark to the inside left slot position. Rodgers then took the snap and dropped the ball to Jones coming back across the formation to the right, which played out like an off-tackle rush would, with Jones following his blockers all the way to the end zone. Rodgers second touchdown pass was a prayer, or a thing of beauty depending on how you look at it, but regardless it was vintage Aaron Rodgers. With the Packers facing a third and one from the Chiefs three yard line, Rodgers took the snap out of the shotgun and got a clean pocket for the first three seconds before the Chiefs were able to penetrate and force him out of the pocket to the right. With Rodgers about to get tackled from behind, he unleashed an Uncle Rico-esque flip pass from his right hip. It was an arching pass that found its way perfectly to the back right portion of the endzone, where Jamaal Williams was running across the field. If there was a bucket right inside the back right portion of the endzone, the ball would have dropped right into it. IT was an incredible play, and one that is easy to say was just a prayer unless you look at how perfectly the ball came down with an arching trajectory, just over the Chiefs secondary, and in stride to Williams. It also came on third down and put the Chiefs up 24-17 deep in the third quarter. It is a play we will be watching for years to come. Rodgers final touchdown pass came with the Packers facing a second and three from their own 33 yard line. Rodgers took the snap out of the shotgun and immediately threw a quick pass to Jones on a wide receiver screen route. The Packers blockers did their job creating an opening running lane for Jones, who then did the rest by weaving his way through the porous Chiefs secondary and outrunning everyone on his way to a 67 yard touchdown that won the game for the Packers.

RB Aaron Jones, 44 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 67 - 0, Rec: 7 - 159 - 2 (8 targets)
Aaron Jones rushed 13 times for 67 yards, averaging 5.2 yards per carry in the Packers win over the Chiefs on Sunday night. It was Jones work in the passing game that was incredible though, as he caught seven passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns on eight targets. Jones was simply un-guardable as a receiver and it came from the Packers putting him in advantageous positions and trusting him to run the type of routes receivers have to practice every day to perfect. It is worth noting from the jump that Jones had a 60 yard touchdown reception that was called a touchdown on the field but was reversed on replay after it showed Jones had just stepped out of bounds at the 10 yard line. The route was a double move where Jones was motioned to the left outside position, the mismatch occurring with a Chiefs linebacker moving out to cover him on the outside. Jones then ran a double move, slant and go, where he faked a post route to the inside and then took off to the left sideline. Watching the replay, the Chiefs had absolutely no shot, as there was not another Chiefs defender on the left side of the field by the time Jones faked his defender out of his shoes on the double move. I watched the replay three times and it is still hard to see where exactly Jones stepped out of bounds, but it was also such a great tactical play that I think it deserved to be a touchdown. After that, Jones first touchdown catch came with the Packers facing a second and three from the Chiefs four yard line. Rodgers motioned Jones across the field from the right hash mark to the inside left slot position using pre-snap motion. Rodgers then took the snap and dropped the ball to Jones who was then coming back across the formation to the right. The Packers blockers got very good depth pushing forward, allowing Jones to follow them all the way into the endzone for the three yard touchdown. Jones second touchdown catch came at a pivotal point in the game with the score tied 24-24 with roughly eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. Jones was set up as the outside receiver on the right hand side and then came in motion and set up just behind his slot receiver at the same time that Rodgers took the snap. Rodgers then flipped the ball to Jones who was set up on a screen pass. The Packers offensive line and receivers executed the blocking perfectly to give the play a chance to develop, as Jones caught the ball and the Packers slot receiver set up his block pushing his defender toward the sideline and opening up the middle of the field for Jones. From there it was all Jones, as he got up to top speed quickly, followed his blockers perfectly to the middle of the field and then took a perfect angle up the field so that he could weave subtly first in and then back outside where he outran the entire Chiefs secondary for the 67 yard game winning touchdown. Jones has broken out as one of the most exciting running backs in the NFL this year, and as a playmaker, is up there with the likes of Tyreek Hill and Saquon Barkley in terms of players who can turn any play into a long touchdown The Packers have not gotten much production from their receivers in Davante Adams absence, which prompted them to put Jones in positions to excel in the passing game. He has become must-see TV every time the Packers play.

RB Jamaal Williams, 32 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 22 - 1, Rec: 3 - 14 - 1 (3 targets)
Jamaal Williams rushed seven times for 22 yards and a touchdown, while also catching three passes for 14 yards and a receiving touchdown. I have consistently noted in this column that Williams is not on par with Jones when it comes to raw-ability, but I do have to give him credit for stepping up his game from a jack of all trades, master of none, type plodder to a guy who has really made some impressive plays when his number is called. Williams is dependable, he executes his assignments very well and that counts for something in the Packers offense, especially when your quarterback is Rodgers with his level of attention to detail. Williams rushing touchdown came with the Packers facing a second and goal from the Chiefs one yard line. Rodgers took the snap out of the shotgun and handed off to Williams who got downhill and powered through after getting great blocking from his offensive line. Williams touchdown catch was much more dramatic though. The Packers were facing a third and one from the Chiefs three yard line, and Rodgers took the snap out of the shotgun. He got a clean pocket for the first three seconds before the Chiefs were able to penetrate and force him out of the pocket to the right. With Rodgers about to get tackled from behind, he unleashed he flipped a pass from his hip, arching it to the back of the end zone where Williams was flying across the back of the end zone. You have to give Williams credit though, he started in the right slot position and ran a shallow crossing route toward the left side of the field. He then reversed field and got to the back of the end zone, creating a play for Rodgers to make. He also made a nice catch on the play, and was a great example of Williams ability to execute and understand exactly where he needs to be, and how to help his quarterback. He doesn’t have the flash of Jones, but he just gets the job done.

WR Allen Lazard, 46 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 42 - 0 (5 targets)
Allen Lazard caught five passes for 42 yards in the Packers win over Chiefs on Sunday night. Lazard caught all five of his targets and is smoothly overtaking both Geranimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the Packers pecking order. He played more snaps than both players and equaled their targets on his own. This wasn’t a big game for Lazard, but it was a steady one and he’s been really dependable as an intermediate target for Rodgers, which showed as he caught all of his targets.

WR Geronimo Allison, 44 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (3 targets)
Geronimo Allison caught one pass for seven yards on three targets in the Packers win over the Chiefs. Much like Valdes-Scantling, Allison has taken a backseat to Lazard and Jake Kumerow, the latter not playing a whole lot of snaps over the last several weeks but seems to make a play every week that continues to put him in the mix for targets. Allison Catching only one pass is a trend that continues to play out, and he has no weekly fantasy value at this time.

WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling, 43 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 4 - 0 (2 targets)
Marquez Valdes-Scantling caught one pass for four yards on two targets in the Packers win over the Chiefs. Rodgers threw 33 passes and passed for 305 yards, so it was surprising to see Valdes-Scantling be a complete non-factor, especially with the Chiefs secondary looking like a complete mess covering receivers down the field.

TE Jimmy Graham, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 20 - 0 (5 targets)
Jimmy Graham caught three passes for 20 yards on five targets in the Packers win over the Chiefs on Sunday. IT was the sixth straight game this season where Graham has been held under 65 yards receiving, although he does have three touchdown catches on the season, which puts him on the fringe as a #2 tight end, and a potential bye week replacement. The days of Graham being a playmaker are officially over, and the Packers have even been using Marcedes Lewis as a deep target when they want those type of routes from their tight end.


Kansas City Chiefs

QB Matt Moore, 59 offensive snaps, Pass: 24 - 36 - 267 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0
Matt Moore completed 24 of 36 passes for 267 yards and two touchdowns in the Chiefs loss to the Packers on Sunday night. Moore played very well in this game and dueled with Aaron Rodgers for most of this game before the Chiefs were unable to get more than seven points out of their last four drives of the game. Moore is what he has always been, a capable backup who can keep an offense afloat if he has playmakers around him. Even so, the Chiefs are as talented at the skill positions as any team in the NFL, but they still couldn’t overcome a very good team like the Packers without Mahomes making those players betters and put them in the best position to succeed. Moore’s first touchdown was actually a thing of beauty from the veteran quarterback. With the Chiefs facing a first and 10 from the Packers 29 yard line, Moore took the snap out of the shotgun and faked a handoff to his receiver who was coming in motion across the formation, Moore then faked a delayed pitch to his running who was running through the center of the formation, Moore then lightly faded to his right before unleashing a high arching pass to Kelce running straight down the field. The pass play was originally designed to be straight down the middle of the field, but Moore put enough air under the ball to lead Kelce back to the right sideline. With Kelce being wide open, and adjusting very well to the pass, it was an easy 29 yard touchdown after Kelce caught the ball. While it was a great adjustment for Kelce, Moore made this play happen with two perfectly timed fakes, and then the wherewithal to lead his receiver to where the opening was, it was a very impressive play from an X and O’s standpoint. Moore’s second touchdown pass was much less so, as he got credited with a the score after dropping the ball in front of him in the shotgun to Hardman streaking across the formation. From there it was all Hardman, as the receiver outraced everyone to the endzone for a 30 yard touchdown. Moore’s reign as starter may only last a week as Mahomes is trying to target next week for his return. Either way, Moore did enough to solidify himself as Mahomes top backup.

RB LeSean McCoy, 23 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 40 - 0, Rec: 4 - 23 - 0 (4 targets)
LeSean McCoy rushed nine times for 40 yards and caught four passes for 23 yards on four targets in the Chiefs loss to the Packers. McCoy led the Chiefs backfield in total touches and look to be the preferred option, gaining solid yards for an offense that was keeping pace with the Packers explosive offensive unit. However, McCoy later fumbled on a key possession late in the third quarter, which ended up giving the Packers the lead. It was the second time McCoy has fumbled in a critical situation in the Chiefs losses, and despite his consistency on early down running plays, Andy Reid will not continue to put up with McCoy’s lack of ball security. It was obvious from then on that Reid looked to Damien Williams to lead the Chiefs in the fourth quarter. McCoy is still running like the best option for the Chiefs, but there’s a limit to his upside because he isn’t seeing enough touches to really pop and Williams is seeing the red zone carries.

RB Damien Williams, 25 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 30 - 1
Damien Williams rushed seven times for 30 yards and a touchdown in the Chiefs loss to the Packers on Sunday night. Williams took a backseat to McCoy for much of the game until McCoy fumbled late in the third quarter. Williams ended up playing all of the fourth quarter and capitalized on a Packers penalty in the red Zone by converting a close carry for a touchdown. With the Chiefs facing a first and goal from the Packers three yard line, Williams took the carry out of the shotgun and looked spry breaking quickly off the left tackle before cutting back to the middle of the field for an easy touchdown run. The blocks were set up well for Williams, but he also showed some quickness by converting two crisp jump cuts on the touchdown run. Williams is a product of volume, he isn’t going to break many big plays unless he sees 20 touches a game, which isn’t going to happen, so he has become touchdown dependent and McCoy is even seeing more work on early downs in the passing game.

WR Tyreek Hill, 53 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0, Rec: 6 - 76 - 0 (9 targets)
Tyreek Hill caught six passes on nine targets for 76 yards against the Packers on Sunday night. Hill was Moore’s most targeted player on the offense, and he did well with the opportunities he was given. Hill’s main weapon is his speed, but Moore is not the type of target who is going to throw him open down the field like Mahomes, so Hill depended mostly on his ability to gain yards after the catch in the short and intermediate passing game. Hill had a long gain of 21 yards that set up a Chiefs field goal, bringing them from near midfield to the Packers red zone. With Mahomes coming back next week, Hill’s value remains a high value target and a proven playmaker who will convert long touchdowns with an average target volume for a #1 receiver.

WR Sammy Watkins, 51 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 45 - 0 (8 targets)
Sammy Watkins caught five of eight targets for 45 yards in the Chiefs loss to the Packers on Sunday night. Watkins returned in this game from a hamstring injury and was given a full slate of snaps (86%) and a bevy of targets, tying Kelce for the second most, and one behind Hill. Unfortunately, those targets were pretty vanilla plays where Watkins was looked to in the short passing game on comebacks, shallow crossing routes and slants. Watkins did have one deep target and he was able to make a big catch for 25 yards and take the Chiefs from the Packers 46 yard line down to the their 21 yard line. This play played a big part in setting up Williams touchdown run. Watkins is seeing a solid volume of targets and as we saw in week one, he is capable of erupting for a big game, especially with defenses focused on the immense talent surround him. It will be hard to say when that will come though, and in the meantime Watkins is #3 wide receiver with a solid floor in PPR formats.

WR Mecole Hardman, 9 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 55 - 1 (2 targets)
Mecole Hardman caught two passes for 55 yards and a touchdown on only two targets in the Chiefs loss to the Packers on Sunday night. Hardman was once again electric, churning out to the two longest receptions of the Chiefs offense on his only two touches of the game. Hardman’s touchdown catch came with the Chiefs facing a first and ten from the Packers 30 yard line. Moore took the snap out of the shotgun and dropped the ball in front of him to Hardman who was coming across the formation from the right to the left side. The Chiefs offensive line and fellow receivers set up blocks very well for Hardman to get him downfield enough for him to use his speed. Hardman got going downhill and then made one cut back to the middle of the field that was incredibly smooth, and it happened so fast that a Packers defender missed a wide open diving tackle that he had a great angle on but just could not time it right with Hardman running so fast. Hardman was not touched on the play until right after he crossed the goal line, giving the rookie receiver his fourth touchdown of the season and his second consecutive game with a touchdown. Hardman gives the Chiefs yet another incredible athlete with speed on the outside and inside slot, but what was once thought of as a luxury pick (or a potential replacement for Tyreek Hill had he encountered the wrath of Roger Goodell) has turned into a pivotal player in the Chiefs offense, regardless of his lack of volume. He’s the type of player who can break any play wide open for a long touchdown, and he has earned his way onto the field by outplaying Demarcus Robinson pretty badly over the last six games.

TE Travis Kelce, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 63 - 1 (8 targets)
Travis Kelce caught four passes for 63 yards and a touchdown on eight targets in the Chiefs loss to the Packers on Sunday. Kelce’s day was highlighted by a 29 yard touchdown in the second quarter where he was left wide open but made an fantastic adjustment on a long pass from Moore. Moore took the snap out of the shotgun and faked a handoff to his receiver who was coming in motion across the formation, Moore then faked a delayed pitch to his running back who was running through the center of the formation, Moore then lofted a pass to Kelce who was running straight down the field and looking for the ball over his left shoulder. Moore threw Kelce open to the right sideline though, and Kelce made an awesome switch to now looking over his right shoulder before making the catch, staying in bounds and converting the 29 yard pass for a touchdown. That was by far his most impactful play though, as the Packers then shut him down for the rest of the game and it certainly played a part in the Chiefs lack of scoring in the second half.