Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 12/19/11

Romeo Crennel hadn’t been a head coach since 2008. Lord knows when the last time he received a Gatorade bath.

All that changed Sunday when Crennel’s Chiefs took down the undefeated defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers 19-14. In just one afternoon, the Chiefs put their names back in the playoff race, found a quarterback, thrust Crennel’s name into the head coach hunt, all while putting on a clinic on how to defeat the NFL’s premiere team.

“Everybody had marked it off as a win for the Packers,” Crennel said. “But those guys in the locker room, they’re football players. They decided that they were not going to lay down.”

Crennel’s defense played its best game of the season holding Green Bay to just 14 points; their lowest point total this season. The Chiefs held the Packers scoreless the entire first half, another first for the 2011 season. Aaron Rodgers completed less than half of his passes on the afternoon.

Kyle Orton exploded onto the scene at Arrowhead stadium with the most efficient game by a KC quarterback this season finishing 23 of 31 passing for 299 yards. On his first game in a Chiefs uniform Orton completed passes to 10 different Kansas City players. He quickly made friends with Steve Breaston and Dwayne Bowe, completing four passes to each of them.

Perhaps the most impressive unit for Kansas City Sunday was the offensive line which gave Orton plenty of time to throw the ball and make Green Bay’s best pass-rusher Clay Matthews a non-factor. The Packers didn’t record a single sack on Orton all day.

Kansas City’s pass rush on the other hand looked better than it has all year. Tamba Hali had his way with Green Bay’s depleted offensive line all afternoon, recording an impressive three sacks on Rodgers. Opposite Hali, rookie linebacker Justin Houston pressured Rodgers for much of the game as well finishing with four tackles and a hit on the quarterback. Middle linebacker Derrick Johnson came up big yet again leading the Chiefs in tackles with seven and a pass deflected. Johnson ranks 9th in the NFL with 119 total tackles.

A tremendous gameplan by Crennel and his staff seemed to be what allowed the Chiefs to control the game. Not surprisingly, a defensive package with extra defensive backs gave Rodgers and Green Bay’s receiving corps fits all afternoon. The Kansas City defense played five defensive backs more than 80 percent of their defensive snaps. Containment by the defensive line and some tight man coverage kept the Packers from opening up their passing game like they’re so used to. Playing two deep safeties and some underneath man coverage was a risk that paid off for the Chiefs.

Suddenly the tide has shifted again in Kansas City and the final two games seem winnable again. They’re going to need some help, but the Chiefs aren’t quite out of the playoff picture just yet. With two more gameplans like Sundays, Crennel might just vault himself to the top of list to be KC’s next head coach.

 

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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