GREEN BAY – Yes. She was here. But off-the-field theatrics aside, the Green Bay Packers are making the football world stand up and take notice that they are a team on the rise, despite their youth and inexperience on offense.
Who knows, maybe the Packers are thriving because of their youth?
In front of 78,124 fans, one of whom just happened to be one of the most famous performers on the planet, the Packers started fast and never trailed the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, 27-19. The win improves Green Bay’s record to 6-6 while dropping Kansas City’s to 8-4.
First, the elephant in the room. Yes, pop star Taylor Swift was in attendance, arriving at Lambeau Field at 5:58pm with Patrick Mahomes wife, Brittany, and other friends. But the Swift entourage left, disappointed, exactly four-and-a-half hours later bound for Kansas City.
That’s largely because Swift and Mahomes’ respective partners were held in check by a stout Green Bay defense that held Kansas City to just 337 total yards and their fifth game under 20 points scored.
“Certainly, that was a big win for us,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said after the game. “I think for our guys, just against one of the premier teams in this league, and we had contributions from all three phases. There’s nothing like playing a night game in Lambeau this time of year.”
The only black mark on Green Bay’s defensive effort was again in stopping the rush. Isiah Pacheco ran for 110 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries, an alarming 6.1 yards per carry average.
Still, Mahomes performed well below his two-time NFL MVP status, passing 21-33 for 210 yards, one touchdown and one costly late interception to Keishawn Nixon, who told reporters after the game he had a feeling Mahomes was going to throw it where he did.
“We were watching mannerism tape earlier in the week, Nixon said. “(Mahomes) tapped his knee and they put two off the ball and I'm like, 'Oh, I've seen this before.' I knew he was gonna run it and he ran it.”
Kelce, a seven-time All-Pro tight end caught just four passes, but for a respectable 81 yards, but was kept out of the end zone.
Green Bay quarterback Jordan Love’s ascent continued. Love completing 25-36 passes for 267 yards, three more touchdowns, and no interceptions for a quarterback rating of 118.6.
Nixon also gave reporters perhaps the quote of the evening when saying of Love, “Twelve (Aaron Rodgers) have him (Love) the key, and s---, he driving the Porche now.”
Love capped off the Packers initial 13-play 75-yard opening drive with a touchdown pass to undrafted rookie tight end Ben Sims.
Similarly, on Green Bay’s second offensive possession, Love marched his team another 75-yards to a touchdown, this time in an efficient 8-plays, capped off by the first of two touchdown passes to Christian Watson.
“I’ve had this game circled for a long time,” Love said after the game.
The win, coupled by Seattle’s Thursday night loss to Dallas, puts them currently in the seventh and final playoff spot in the NFC.
Green Bay will play at the New York Giants (4-8) next Monday night.