KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Matt Cassel and Brodie Croyle each led touchdown drives and the Kansas City Chiefs beat Green Bay 17-13 Thursday night for their first preseason victory since 2008.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers and a host of other Green Bay starters didn’t suit up for the final tuneup of the preseason. Backup signal-caller Matt Flynn played into the third quarter and hit 23 of 37 passes for 304 yards, much of it against backups.
Running back Ryan Grant and cornerback Charles Woodson also did not dress for what was expected to be a rainy night but actually remained dry. Held out with injuries were nine other Packers, including four other starters: linebackers Clay Matthews and Brad Jones, defensive end Cullen Jenkins and tackle Chad Clifton.
Rodgers, who led the No. 1 offense on three touchdown drives in one half against Indianapolis last Thursday, watched Flynn go three-and-out in Green Bay’s first four possessions.
Finally, facing a host of backups, the Packers (2-2) got rolling, driving from their 24 to first down at the 10. But rookie defensive back Kendrick Lewis broke up a pass on the goal line on third down and then a fourth-down pass was incomplete.
Cassel got off to his typically slow start, but wound up hitting 4 of 9 throws for 58 yards, with one interception and a 2-yard TD pass to a wide-open Leonard Pope late in the first quarter. The drive, against many backups, covered 62 yards on 11 plays.
Cassel turned a 7-0 lead over to Croyle and the oft-injured backup engineered an 8-play, 95-yard march in which Jackie Battle broke Jarrett Bush’s tackle and went 49 yards. On fourth down, Battle plowed across from the 1, making it 14-0.
Trailing 14-3, the Packers got a 77-yard catch-and-run when backup cornerback Jackie Bates bit on a play fake and left Brett Swain wide open over the middle. Swain was knocked out of bounds at the 5. Two plays later, Kregg Lumpkin dived into the end zone from the 1. The play was first ruled no gain, but the Packers challenged and got the call reversed.
The Chiefs were 1-3 in preseason after going 0-4 a year ago.
Three receivers had a big night for the Packers. Swain caught 6 passes for 130 yards, Charles Dillon caught 6 for 85 and Patrick Williams had five catches for 70 yards.
Croyle hit Tim Castille with a short pass late in the third quarter and the fullback broke a tackle, got a block and went 43 yards, setting up Ryan Succop’s 26-yard field goal.