The Kansas City Chiefs fell to the Green Bay Packers, 27-19, at Lambeau Field on Sunday night.
Here are some quick notes from the loss.
1. The Packers limited the Chiefs' offensive possessions.
Kansas City recorded only seven "true" drives on Sunday (excluding the one-play series at the end of the first half), marking its fewest in a game this season. In fact, the Chiefs – who were averaging 10.5 drives-per-game entering Sunday night – have tallied fewer than 10 possessions in a single game just one another time this year, notching eight against Minnesota.
Ironically enough, the last time that the Chiefs recorded seven or fewer "true" drives in a game was nearly a year ago to the day. Kansas City tallied just seven "true" possessions against Cincinnati in Week 13 of last season, dropping a close game on the road.
That number was significant because it narrowed the Chiefs' margin for error, and as it turned out, magnified a handful of mistakes. Kansas City found success moving the football on Sunday for the most part, scoring on four of those seven drives while racking up 337 yards and converting 7-of-11 third down opportunities.
Unfortunately, Kansas City went 2-for-4 in the red zone and turned the ball over on its penultimate series. In a game where the Chiefs only had the ball for seven possessions, those miscues turned out to be the difference.
2. Tailback Isiah Pacheco put together one of the best games of his career.
Despite the loss, Pacheco turned in one of his strongest games as a professional on Sunday night with 110 rushing yards on just 18 carries. Ten of those attempts – or 56 percent – picked up at least five yards. The second-year tailback averaged 4.06 yards after contact in the game, marking the highest figure of any player with double-digit carries in Week 13.
It wasn't enough on Sunday, but Pacheco's performance was certainly encouraging, and with five games remaining, the former seventh-round pick is only 221 yards shy of 1,000 for the year.
3. Rookie wide receiver Rashee Rice put together another strong performance.
Rice caught eight passes for 64 yards on Sunday, marking the second-straight game in which he recorded at least eight receptions. In fact, Rice's 16 catches over the last two weeks are tied for the third-most of any player in the NFL, while his 171 receiving yards in that span rank 10th.
It's also worth mentioning that Rice was on the field for a season-high 69 percent of the Chiefs' offensive snaps on Sunday. The former first-round pick has now earned at least 60 percent of Kansas City's offensive snaps in four of the Chiefs' last five games, indicating that Rice is continuing to impress the coaching staff with what he can do.
4. To their credit, the Packers made their share of plays.
The Chiefs' miscues certainly contributed to the loss on Sunday, but the Packers also made a handful of game-changing plays, perhaps the biggest of which being a 33-yard completion on 4th-and-1 midway through the third quarter.
Kansas City created pressure on the play and nearly forced a turnover on downs, but to his credit, wide receiver Romeo Doubs made a tremendous catch to move the chains deep into Chiefs' territory. That play ended up being the difference between an eventual Packers' touchdown and a Chiefs' offensive possession that would have started at midfield, constituting a potential 14-point swing.
Packers' cornerback Keisean Nixon also made an impressive play to pick off Chiefs' quarterback Patrick Mahomes near the sideline on Kansas City's second-to-last drive. The Chiefs were trailing by just five points at the time, but Nixon's interception ended what began as an otherwise promising series.
5. The Chiefs have demonstrated an ability to bounce back from tough losses in recent memory.
Every season – and every game, for that matter – is different, but for what it's worth, the Chiefs have shown an ability to get back on track quickly following tough losses in recent years.
Kansas City hasn't dropped back-to-back games since early in the 2021 season, and for his career, quarterback Patrick Mahomes is 16-3 immediately after a loss in the regular season. That includes a 3-0 mark this year, and now with just five games remaining in the campaign, the reigning league MVP will aim to get Kansas City back on track with a matchup against the Buffalo Bills on deck.
"All you can do when you lose football games is you go watch the tape, and you try to learn from it," Mahomes said following the game. "You learn from your mistakes, and you get better. That's all you can do. That's win or loss. We haven't dealt with a ton of losing here, but everything is [still] out in front of [us]. We can still win the division, but it's going to take us getting better and better every week, and we're going to have a great challenge coming up in Buffalo. So, let's get back to practice, and we'll see if we can get better next week."