PHOENIX — After 19 straight wins over 364 days, the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers’ bid for a perfect season ends in Kansas City. The Chiefs pulled off the shocker of the weekend, beating the Packers 19-14.
Romeo Crennel, the interim head coach of Kansas City, replaced Todd Haley, who was fired during the week. The former head coach of the Cleveland Browns, Crennel made the most of his second chance by putting together a game plan and getting his players to execute it.
Kansas City started Kyle Orton at quarterback, his first start of the season. He is Kansas City’s third QB this year. Starting the season with Denver, he was replaced by Tim Tebow and released.
Orton was brilliant. He completed 23-31 for 299 yards; his QB rating was 104.1. He outplayed Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (17-35-235). Rodgers’ receivers had a case of the drops on Sunday; several times Packers receivers were dropping balls.
When you drop balls, you can’t make first downs, and that played into Kansas City’s plan to run the football and control the clock. And that’s what they did — the Chiefs had the ball for 36 minutes. The Packers, NFC North Champs, are 13-1 with the best record in the NFL.
The loss ends the second-longest winning streak in NFL history — New England won 21 straight in 2003-2004. The Packers failed to become the first defending Super Bowl Champion to start 14-0.
Sunday the Vikings learned another lesson: Keep your opinions to yourself. Vikings star Jared Allen last week referred to New Orleans as a “Third World country.” The insensitive, degrading, racist remark angered the Saints. They were professional about it all week, but Sunday they played as if they were possessed.
They dominated the Vikings 42-20, and Drew Brees, the leader of the Saints, threw five touchdown passes. He was surgically amazing, completing 32-40 for 412 yards. Brees’ QB rating was 149.2. The Saints, now 11-3, marched up and down the field on the Vikings for 573 yards.
Vikings star Adrian Peterson returned to the lineup after missing three games with a high left ankle sprain. He ran 10 times for 60 yards.
The Vikings have lost six straight games and are now 2-12; that’s the second-worst record in the NFL. Only Indianapolis is worse at 1-13. The Vikings are now 1-7 with rookie QB Christian Ponder; they were 1-5 with Donovan McNabb starting at QB. The Vikings have allowed six teams to score 33 points or more and have lost all six games.
Next week the Vikings travel to Washington to play the Redskins.
With two weeks left in the regular season, several teams saw long winning streaks end. Houston lost after winning seven straight; Denver lost after winning six straight; Baltimore lost after four straight wins, and the New York Jets lost after winning three straight.
The Arizona Cardinals won their fourth straight game 20-17 over Cleveland; it was their third overtime win. They started the season 1-6 and are now 7-7. The 11-3 New England Patriots clinched the AFC East for the ninth time since 2000.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, and on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm; he also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2), and you can follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.