Mike McCarthy has run out of ways to describe Aaron Rodgers' peerless play and so, too, has most everyone else.
The Green Bay Packers quarterback is good. Like, really good.
But there were plenty of other good things in the Packers' 38-28 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football at Lambeau Field. Like the offensive line; that was good. And the receivers and running backs -- they were also good. The pass rush was really good, the run defense was good and the secondary was pretty good, too.
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The Packers don't require eloquent description to communicate how well they've played. There's no adjective that will dress up the only thing that matters: they're undefeated. For the first time since their 15-1 season in 2011 and just the sixth time in the past 22 years, they're 3-0.
Green Bay has won each game by at least eight points with the league's best passer guiding a typically unstoppable offense and a defense that has alternated between sound enough and very strong.
Let's take a look back at Monday's game, see if we can come up with some better adjectives and recap the Packers' win over the Chiefs.
-- The NFL should just let Rodgers referee the games, too. In the first quarter, Rodgers noticed the Chiefs had 12 defenders on the field, snapped the ball and practically talked the officials into calling the penalty. He'd quickly capitalize on the extended drive, connecting with Randall Cobb in the end zone for one of Cobb's three touchdowns. In the second quarter, Rodgers drew Kansas City offside with his trademark hard count, took advantage of the free play and found James Jones for another score. In an over-whistled game that saw 12 flags thrown on Green Bay and seven against Kansas City, Rodgers' ability to exploit the penalties was crucial.
-- Eddie Lacy, who missed most of last week's game against Seattle after suffering an ankle injury, came out running hard. Lacy carried 10 times against the Chiefs for 46 yards, including three impressive runs of at least nine. He also caught three passes for 41 yards and looked healthy and agile. The Packers needed Lacy, too, because backup running back James Starks wasn't nearly as productive as usual, rushing 17 times for just 32 yards (1.9 average).
-- Going into the game, there was concern about Kansas City's formidable outside linebackers (Justin Houston and Tamba Hali) feasting on Green Bay's inconsistent offensive tackles (David Bakhtiari hasn't looked like himself so far and replacement Don Barclay is a step down from starter Bryan Bulaga). But the Packers' line dominated in the trenches, giving up just one sack. On the other side, Green Bay's pass rush was unstoppable, notching seven sacks and keeping Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith from getting into any kind of rhythm until the fourth quarter.
-- The Packers' run defense really stepped up to the challenge. After Jamaal Charles essentially lost Kansas City the game last week because of his fumbles, it was reasonable to expect him to come out with his dreadlocked hair on fire, eager to trample Green Bay's oft-maligned run defense. Instead, the Packers mostly contained Charles, limiting him to 49 yards on 11 carries (he did have three touchdown runs, but otherwise went for 29 yards on eight carries). After facing three of the league's best backs in the first three weeks, Green Bay can feel pretty good about its run defense.
-- James Jones has definitively proven the Raiders and Giants wrong for releasing him. Jones, who signed with the Packers just a week before the regular season started, has caught a touchdown pass in each of the first three games and, on Monday, led Green Bay with seven receptions for 139 yards, including a 52-yarder. It really shouldn't be too much of a surprise that he's still good; the Packers chose to let Jones leave in free agency in 2014 mainly because of his high price tag, not because they didn't think he could still play. The 31-year-old receiver is tied for fifth in the NFL with five catches of at least 20 yards.
-- Green Bay's defensive backs have heard for a few years about their supposed inability to tackle. On Monday, though, the secondary was sturdy in run support, physical in pursuit and fundamental in wrapping up and taking down Chiefs players. Sam Shields, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Casey Hayward were the Packers' three top tacklers (with six, six and five, respectively), and cornerbacks Shields and Hayward each registered their first tackle for loss of the season. In coverage, as well, the DBs were dependable, as four players knocked down a pass and Shields snagged his first interception.
-- It's worth noting that Mason Crosby continues to be automatic. The veteran kicker and all-time Packers scoring leader converted his only field-goal attempt against Kansas City, a 44-yarder that made him 6 for 6 this year. He also hit all five of his extra-point tries and has 28 points through three games.
WHAT IT MEANT
As mentioned above, the first-place Packers are now 3-0. Since 1993, the other five times they started out 3-0 they won at least 12 games four times and averaged 12.8 victories for those seasons. Green Bay successfully accomplished its goal of opening fast, avoiding the 1-2 starts of each of the past three years. The offense has proven it won't be slowed by the long-term loss of Jordy Nelson (torn ACL) or short-term injury absences such as Lacy, Bulaga or wide receiver Davante Adams.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Rodgers. There's no reason to try and be creative or effusive here. The defending MVP completed 24 of 35 passes (68.6 percent) for 333 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions for a 138.5 rating.
DON'T FORGET ABOUT ME
Even from the inside, linebacker Clay Matthews led the pass-rushing charge on defense. The seventh-year veteran had three quarterback hits, including his first two sacks of the season.
Rodgers actually threw incomplete on his first three passes Monday. But on the Packers' second drive, he hit Jones for 12 yards, Lacy for 26 and then rookie receiver Ty Montgomery for an eight-yard touchdown. At that point, as Montgomery leapt into the Lambeau stands, the offensive machine was up and running and there was no stopping it.
19 -- as in, the number of home games, including playoffs, since Rodgers' last interception. That's 580 passes since he was last picked off in Green Bay.
THEY SAID IT
"Aaron is a phenomenal player . . . and playing great football. I'll just keep saying it." -- Head coach Mike McCarthy on Rodgers
"We're so blessed to have James Jones back." -- Aaron Rodgers
"Forcing (Kansas City) to punt that first half was pretty boring, being on the sideline. But, hopefully, this is just an indication of where we're headed as a defense." -- Clay Matthews
Green Bay travels to San Francisco to face the 1-2 49ers on Sunday.
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