The Packers may have just made the NFC playoff picture more intriguing.
Not many expected Green Bay to flourish immediately in the first season of the Jordan Love era, but the youngster just helped his team deliver a statement win.
Love and the Pack pulled off a major upset over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, winning 27-19 to move to 6-6 while the Chiefs dropped to 8-4.
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It came down to the final drive with the Chiefs needing a touchdown at the minimum to go for two. Multiple controversial moments later, Patrick Mahomes and Co. ultimately fell short as the youngest team in the NFL impressed under the lights.
Let's analyze the riveting affair further with five takeaways:
All love for Jordan
The Packers have had Love on the slow cooker the last few years, and it's proving to be the right call. His first year as a full-time starter hasn't been without shades of inconsistency and frustrating moments, but there's a player in there.
Love at one point completed 18 of 21 passes as he had no issue bypassing a sturdy Kansas City defense, though the second half wasn't always as clean. He finished the game completing 25 of 36 passes for 267 yards, three touchdowns and no picks. That was a bookmark game against an all-time QB.
Late penalty calls crush Chiefs
The aforementioned controversial moments had both positive and negative effects on the Chiefs. The first involved Packers safety Jonathan Owens, who hit Mahomes on his way out of bounds. The penalty, called a late hit on the field, moved Kansas City ahead 15 yards, though Mahomes appeared to be still inbounds.
There were also two late defensive pass interference calls that were not called in favor of Kansas City. The first saw Packers DB Carrington Valentine go over the back on Marquez Valdes-Scantling, which would've put the Chiefs in the red zone. The second was on the last-second Hail Mary, which doesn't always get called but had an evident case.
The Chiefs have to feel hard done by the outcome as the game could've gone either way if they scored a touchdown via a penalty call. Now they'll have to shift focus to the Buffalo Bills in Week 14.
Packers young receivers shine
Love hasn't always had the benefit of health for his skill players, but the young group came to play in this one. Here's how the receiving fared for the Packers' unit:
- Romeo Doubs: four catches, 72 yards
- Christian Watson: seven catches, 71 yards, two touchdowns
- Dontayvion Wicks: three catches, 43 yards
- Tucker Kraft: three catches, 37 yards
- Jayden Reed: four catches, 16 yards
- Malik Heath: one catch, 15 yards
Doubs arguably had the biggest catch of the day on a risky 4th-and-one call.
It's a promising group of youngsters who will be competing for minutes as they develop more chemistry with Love.
AFC might not run through Arrowhead
Seeing the Chiefs at 8-4 through Week 13 is a peculiar sight. The Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars all have fewer losses than them and that's before mentioning teams with worse records in the AFC have already bested them, such as the Denver Broncos.
The chief problem may be the lack of quality receivers for Mahomes, which continues to be a prevalent theme in each game regardless of the result. Travis Kelce can only do so much with rookie Rashee Rice stepping up lately, logging eight catches for 64 yards in this one.
But the Chiefs are more vulnerable this year than they have been recently in the Mahomes-Andy Reid era, and that could come to bite them come playoff time.
Packers spice up NFC race
The Chiefs should make the playoffs, yes. But the Packers have suddenly put themselves in the playoff picture with four wins in their last five to be 6-6. That's on par with the NFC South-leading Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks, Los Angeles Rams and Minnesota Vikings. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints are both 5-7.
The Tampa Bay and Minnesota games will be the deciders, but the other three matchups look promising. Keep an eye on this young team, as qualifying for the playoffs could do wonders in the long term.