Even with their star kick returner being kept out of the end zone for the first time in a month, the Chiefs overcame a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to force overtime, then came out on top after a crazy closing sequence to beat the Green Bay Packers 40-34 Sunday at Lambeau Field.
Here were the final three plays of the game, one right after the other:
— On first down, Packers running back Ahman Green—who ran 26 times for 139 yards—fumbled the ball, and Kansas City recovered.
Simple as that, Kansas City improved to 6-0.
“First off, it doesn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. There’s a special profile about this team,” Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil said. “At no time on our sideline did anyone think we’d lost this football game.”
“It stuck in my arms,” Maslowski said.
Then, with the Packers expecting run, Kennison juked Bhawoh Jue along the right sideline and caught Trent Green’s pass for the winning score. Jue was in the lineup because starter Mike McKenzie sat out the second half with back spasms.
“It’s a tough one to swallow,” Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre said. “I’m sure Ahman’s going to beat himself up over the fumble.”
And Packers safety Darren Sharper was regretting the potential interception he dropped just before Andersen’s miss that easily would have been a game-winning touchdown the other way.
Green Bay had won an NFL-record 56 straight games at home after building a double-digit lead but they blew two of them Sunday: 14-0 in the first quarter and 31-14 in the fourth.
They hadn’t blown a double-digit lead at home since Sept. 12, 1993, in a 20-17 loss to Philadelphia after leading 10-0 and 17-7.
Hall came into the game with kick return scores in an NFL-record four straight games, including game-winners against Baltimore and Denver the previous two weeks.
He nearly made it five, but he was tripped up by punter Josh Bidwell in the second quarter.
“I should have been in the end zone,” Hall said. “He had a four-leaf clover in his pocket. And then a little monster came up from the field and tripped me. No, he made a great play. He’s a little faster than I thought.”
Hall did provide the Chiefs with a spark with 14 1/2 minutes remaining by returning a punt 32 yards to the Green Bay 42—even though the Packers had 12 men on the field.
Priest Holmes, stifled much of the afternoon, scored from a yard out about two minutes later to make it 31-21.
The Packers were driving when Favre’s pass went off Donald Driver’s right hand. Woods intercepted it at his knees and returned it for a touchdown with 8:46 left to make it 31-28.
Andersen’s 34-yard field goal tied it at 31 with 5:41 left, and he added a 31-yarder with 1 second remaining to send the game to OT after Ryan Longwell’s 41-yarder restored Green Bay’s lead at 34-31.
“We just never quit,” Hall said. “We’re going to fight until the clock reads 0:00.”
The Packers, who hadn’t surrendered 40 points at home in nearly 20 years, led 21-14 at halftime behind Green’s 4-yard TD run and 11-yard TD reception.
Najeh Davenport’s 18-yard burst up the middle in the third quarter and Longwell’s 50-yard field goal made for a seemingly safe 31-14 lead.
“A lot of teams would have just accepted the loss,” Packers wideout Antonio Freeman said.
But the Chiefs would score 26 of the game’s final 29 points.
“Everything is a blur for me right now,” Packers coach Mike Sherman said. “I never really thought we had the game under control. They’re an explosive unit.”
Hall, who had seven TD returns in his last 10 games entering Sunday, watched helplessly as the Packers’ first two kickoffs went out of bounds. He lost the third one in the sun.
Longwell said the kickoffs out of bounds were accidental.
“He’s a great returner,” Longwell said. “But we’re not that scared.”
Hall’s teammate, Vonnie Holliday, had a successful return to his former home stadium.
“This one might be the sweetest of all,” said the Chiefs’ defensive end who played five years in Green Bay. “Those guys called it luck, but good teamsfind ways to win.”
Holmes rushed for 40 yards in regulation and 41 in overtime. … The Chiefs are 3-0 at Lambeau Field. … Ahman Green’s nine touchdowns already match his total from last year. His teams had been 18-0 when he ran for 100 ormore yards.