Love connected with Christian Watson on two of his three touchdown passes and the resurgent Green Bay Packers won their third straight game, 27-19 over Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night.
“Obviously I've had this game circled for a long time,” Love said. “This was my first start and I obviously didn't play how I wanted to the first game. To be able to see these guys and get the victory is huge.”
The Packers scored touchdowns on three of their first four drives and never trailed, with their defense making two big stops in the last 5 1/2 minutes. Green Bay knocked down Mahomes' pass into the end zone on the game’s final play.
Since losing four straight earlier this season, the Packers have won four of five to creep into playoff position.
“They're coming together,” Packers cach Matt LaFleur said. “They're working. They're getting better. They're playing faster, playing more confident.”
The Packers (6-6) improved their December record to 16-0 under LaFleur. The only team ever to win more consecutive December games was the San Diego Chargers with 18 straight from 2006-09, before their move to Los Angeles.
Love went 25 of 36 for 267 yards. Tight end Ben Sims had a 1-yard catch for his first career touchdown, and Love added TD passes of 9 and 12 yards to Watson.
Mahomes was 21 of 31 for 210 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception for the Super Bowl champion Chiefs (8-4), who lost in front of pop superstar Taylor Swift for the first time. Kansas City had won its previous four games Swift had attended since beginning her relationship with tight end Travis Kelce.
Kansas City still leads the AFC West but fell behind three other teams for the top seed in the conference.
“The Packers I thought did a great job tonight,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "They got after us, and it’s a good football team. We’ve got to be able to start faster on both sides of the ball. We’ve got to make sure we take care of that. Whether it was the penalties on offense or whether we weren’t getting off the field on the defensive side, those are things that cost us. We’ve got to learn from that and get better as we go forward.”
Isiah Pacheco rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown before getting ejected for punching Keisean Nixon during a scuffle on the game’s final series. Noah Gray had a 2-yard TD catch early in the fourth quarter that got Kansas City within two.
Mahomes had a couple of late chances to tie the game or take the lead.
Kansas City had a first down just beyond midfield when Nixon picked off Mahomes' pass intended for Skyy Moore with 5:14 left. The turnover set up a 48-yard field goal by Anders Carlson that made it 27-19.
Kansas City got the ball back at its own 30 with 1:09 left and no timeouts remaining.
Mahomes had a 10-yard run and got hit by Jonathan Owens while going out of bounds, leading to a personal foul that put the ball at Green Bay’s 45. Rashee Rice then appeared to fumble, with Green Bay’s Corey Ballentine returning it for a game-clinching touchdown, but replays showed Rice was down before the ball came loose.
Kansas City couldn’t capitalize.
The Chiefs argued in vain for a pass interference call on a long incompletion to Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the final minute. The Chiefs had the ball at Kansas City’s 33 on the game’s final play, when Mahomes threw into a crowd, and there was plenty of contact before the ball fell to the ground.
Packers: Watson injured his hamstring while running for a first down late in the fourth quarter. CB Jaire Alexander (shoulder) missed a fourth consecutive game. RB Aaron Jones (knee) and TE Josiah Deguara (hip) were out for a second straight game.
Chiefs: Host Buffalo next Sunday.
Packers: At the New York Giants on Monday, Dec. 11.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL
Steve Megargee, The Associated Press