Packers 24, Chiefs 3

In their final tuneup for the regular season, the Kansas City

Chiefs showed they could stop Aaron Rodgers.

They just couldn’t duplicate the feat against Green Bay Packers

backup Graham Harrell.

The Chiefs kept Rodgers and the Packers out of the end zone in

the first quarter, then gave up three straight scoring drives after

Harrell took over and the Packers won 24-3 Thursday night.

”We got (Rodgers) off the field before he could go down and

score,” Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel said. ”And then we held our

own the second time we were out there. So that’s a decent judge of

the capabilities of the defense.”

Packers coach Mike McCarthy wanted to see more out of his No. 1

offense, even if they weren’t in the game very long.

”Obviously, I wasn’t very pleased with the way the game

started,” McCarthy said. ”I thought they were moving a little

quicker than we were.”

But McCarthy was pleased with the performance of Harrell, who

completed 13 of 15 passes for 223 yards with two touchdowns for the

Packers (2-2).

Harrell’s play has been scrutinized by fans and the media all

preseason, and McCarthy said handling that was part of his

maturation process.

”We talk about it all the time: It’s nice when people say nice

things about you and it’s not so nice when they don’t,” McCarthy

said. ”And it’s one extreme to the other, particularly at that

position. That’s part of the deal. I think he handled it very

well.”

But with the final round of roster decisions looming Friday,

McCarthy stopped short of making a definitive declaration when

asked if he was comfortable going into the season with Harrell as

the backup.

”I think he definitely grew through the preseason, topped it

off with an excellent performance tonight,” McCarthy said. ”But

we’re not going to make any roster selections here tonight.”

Rookie running back Nate Eachus had 21 carries for 99 yards and

the Chiefs (1-3) rushed for 247 yards.

Peyton Hillis had 46 yards on six carries, and said the

offensive line showed improvement from last week.

”It was a great job up front,” Hillis said. ”That’s where we

found the holes. I think as far as coming out and trying to work

the running game and try to get that accomplished, I believe we did

that.”

The two teams had a combined total of 22 penalties, but it

seemed an indication of sloppy play rather than mistakes by the

replacement officiating crew.

Chiefs starting quarterback Matt Cassel came out of the game a

few plays into their second possession. Brady Quinn was 6 of 12 for

83 yards with an interception, while Ricky Stanzi and Alex Tanney

struggled to move the ball.

Crennel said Quinn was ”decent,” with room for

improvement.

”He’s my second quarterback, so I’m going to ask him to step up

like I would ask anyone else to step up,” Crennel said.

The Chiefs put together several long drives in the first half,

but had only a 26-yard field goal by Ryan Succop to show for

it.

Rodgers played the first two series, but both possessions ended

with punts.

”We wanted to come out while we were in the game and establish

ourselves, especially since we’ve had a rough few weeks,” Chiefs

defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey said. ”We wanted to come out and

just lock it down, to tell you the truth.”

Harrell took over early in the second quarter and seemed to gain

confidence after Jermichael Finley made an acrobatic catch for a

27-yard gain.

Harrell found Tori Gurley wide open for a 54-yard gain on the

next play and Green ran in for a 2-yard touchdown two plays later

for a 7-3 lead.

Gurley said he wanted to do whatever he could to help Harrell’s

cause – not to mention his own.

”He works extremely hard,” Gurley said. ”I can count many

days where me and Graham were the only ones here throwing balls at

the facility.”

Gurley is one of several Packers receivers wondering what will

happen Friday.

”I’m going to go home and go to sleep,” Gurley said.

”Tomorrow, I’m probably going to go fishing. If you guys want to

join me, we can sit out there on a lake and have us a few Gatorades

and enjoy life.”

Harrell had two more drives, throwing a pass to Green for a

17-yard touchdown before halftime, then finding Jarrett Boykin for

a 12-yard touchdown.

Harrell, a former standout at Texas Tech, came into camp as the

Packers’ main backup after Matt Flynn signed a free agent deal with

Seattle.

Harrell struggled coming into Thursday, playing with a

second-string offense that has struggled to protect him.

”He showed me if you can keep him upright he can throw the

ball,” Finley said. ”The Graham that I know, he can sling it. I

think he got some great opportunities tonight to show what he can

do, and he did that.”

Added Finley, ”Hopefully, he’s around here in the next 48

hours.”

Online: http://bigstory.ap.org/NFL-Pro32 and

http://twitter.com/AP-NFL