Backup quarterbacks experience ups, downs for Packers in 33-21 preseason loss to Chiefs
A day after the Green Bay Packers set the margins for their quarterback room by trading Brett Hundley to Seattle, DeShone Kizer and Tim Boyle provided early splashes of color in the Packers’ final preseason game Thursday night.
The visiting Packers fell to the Kansas City Chiefs 33-21 at Arrowhead Stadium to finish the exhibition season with a 2-2 record.
The pair didn’t exactly stay within the lines against the Chiefs — Kizer was intercepted on a poor throw and Boyle made more than few questionable decisions as the night wore on — but the duo displayed why the team felt comfortable moving Hundley.
After his interception led to an early 7-0 deficit, Kizer directed a nine-play, 65-yard drive that culminated in a 31-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Geronimo Allison on fourth-and-1 to tie the game. On that play Kizer eschewed a shorter throw for a first down for the scoring strike.
During that drive, Kizer extended the possession with a 10-yard scramble on third-and-6 and went 4-for-5 for 47 yards. His night ended after that series with a quarterback rating of 95.5 on 5 of 7 passing for 57 yards.
“The quarterback focus was to get DeShone two series,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said postgame via Packers.com. “Obviously, he had the high throw there the first series. I thought he did a very nice job, particularly on the extended play on the second series with the touchdown throw. Geronimo was excellent in the extended play part of it, too. Really, the focus was to get Tim Boyle as much work as possible. So we definitely accomplished that and it will be good tape to evaluate and learn from.”
Boyle, who had not played since the second preseason game, had a more uneven performance.
Boyle, who had a quarterback rating of 90 after his first two possessions, saw it tumble all the way to 43.3 by the end of the game. He finished 15 of 31 for 127 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
BOX SCORE: Chiefs 33, Packers 21
REPLAY: Packers-Chiefs game blog
“Well, once again, a lot of different people playing in there," McCarthy said. "I thought we had a good rhythm there in the first half. Our last group there really struggled throughout the second half.”
He began with a flourish after taking over with the Chiefs leading 10-7 early in the second quarter. The undrafted rookie out of Eastern Kentucky led the Packers on a 13-play, 78-yard scoring drive that was highlighted by a 30-yard completion to rookie receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling.
On fourth-and-goal from the Chiefs’ 1-yard line, first-year tight end Robert Tonyan slipped uncovered into the end zone for an easy pitch-and-catch from Boyle and a 14-10 Packers lead.
Boyle followed that up by directing another touchdown drive, one aided by a 36-yard pass interference penalty drawn by rookie receiver Equanimeous St. Brown. Running back Aaron Jones, who got his last work before a two-game suspension begins next week, capped off the drive with an impressive right-to-left 13-yard run down to the Kansas City 1. He then barreled into the end zone for a 21-10 Packers lead.
Kansas City third-string quarterback Matt McGloin brought the Chiefs to within 21-17 at the half.
The break didn’t serve Boyle well and he began to get a bit loose in the second half with multiple misfires. The Packers punted twice and moved the ball just 18 yards in the third quarter while the Chiefs added a pair of Harrison Butker field goals to go ahead 23-21.
Boyle was intercepted late in the third quarter on a throw off his back foot into double coverage, and the Chiefs turned that into another field goal early in the fourth for a 26-21 lead. What looked like a late throw into zone coverage resulted in another interception for Boyle, this time by Chiefs defensive back Makinton Dorleant. Dorleant returned it 30 yards for a touchdown and a 33-21 lead.
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The early performance of the Green Bay quarterbacks was aided due to a rebound in pass protection from the offensive line and playmaking by a handful of young pass catchers.
Valdes-Scantling led the team in receiving with his three catches for 41 yards, followed by Allison (one for 31) and Tonyan (four for 31). J’Mon Moore caught two balls for 13 yards and St. Brown had one catch for 10 yards. Jones added three catches for 21 yards.
Right tackle Bryan Bulaga’s return was a highlight, as he saw his first game action since tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament in November. Corner Kevin King (shoulder) and kick returner Trevor Davis (hamstring) also returned to action for the Packers. King had a pass breakup in the end zone and Davis nearly broke one return for a touchdown while averaging 22.9 per return.