Patrick Mahomes believes the Kansas City Chiefs are close to being "the team everybody knows and loves" despite another poor performance on offense in Week 9.

The Chiefs improved to 5-4 in what has been a thoroughly unconvincing season from a team looking to win their third successive AFC Championship and atone for their Super Bowl LVI loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last term.

Andy Reid's team have endured struggles on both sides of the ball in 2021 but, while an often-porous defense stepped up to hold the Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers to seven points, Mahomes and the offense continued to sputter. 

Mahomes was held to 166 passing yards, the second-lowest total of his career behind the 76 he had against the Denver Broncos in a 2019 game in which he suffered a knee injury.

But the 13 points the Chiefs scored proved enough for Kansas City to hold on and claim a crucial win and Mahomes does not think a return to the kind of explosive offensive performances that helped them become a juggernaut is far away.

"I feel like we're close," Mahomes said. "You can see drives here and there where we're the team everybody knows and loves, but you've got to consistently be able to do that throughout every single drive in a game. We're just not executing at a higher level. 

"I'm still extremely confident, I know we're going to find it as an offense.

"We have too many good players, we have too special of coaches in this organisation to not find it.

"The offensive line, I'm really confident in them, they're playing really good football these last few weeks. I expect us to start making plays here soon."

Though he is hopeful the offense will eventually resume normal service, Mahomes made it clear he is unconcerned with his individual yardage.

"I'd rather be walking away with a win than with a lot of yards, so I'm glad we got the win," he added.

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur shouldered the blame for Jordan Love's struggles in the 13-7 defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Love made his first start for the Packers after reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers was left on the sidelines having tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday.

The Rodgers-less Packers (7-2) fell short on Sunday with Love under centre in Kansas City, where Green Bay's seven-game winning streak came to an end.

Love – the 26th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft – was 19-of-34 passing for 190 yards, a touchdown and interception, while the 23-year-old rushed for another 23 yards on five carries.

"This one falls on me, squarely," LaFleur said when discussing Love's woes against the blitz. "Certainly, for us to be two for 12 on third down, obviously didn't have a good enough plan for some of the zero pressures that they brought on us.

"But I thought our guys battled. I thought Jordan, I was really proud of the way he played. He hung in there, he was taking hits and delivering the ball.

"I thought he did a really good job. But I think that, ultimately, I've got to be better and this one falls squarely on me."

Regarding his own performance, Love added: "Obviously not good enough. I think we started off a little slow, I started off a little slow personally.

"I think we got into a bit of a rhythm later. Obviously, it was too late. Just not good enough."

"I think we started having a better answer in the end, but yeah, they were bringing the all out, they were eating us up and we just weren't able to execute on those plays that we had against it," Love said.

"I think all it took was maybe one big play against it, and it wouldn't have been coming as much. Obviously, we weren't able to execute it, so that's why they kept bringing it."

The Green Bay Packers' first look at life without Aaron Rodgers was not a pleasant one, as their offence sputtered with backup quarterback Jordan Love at the helm and the Kansas City Chiefs held on for a 13-7 victory. 

The Packers (7-2) had averaged 27 points during the seven-game winning streak that ended on Sunday after reigning MVP Rodgers missed the game following a positive coronavirus test during the week. 

The visitors did not get on the scoreboard until Love hit Allen Lazard for a 20-yard touchdown pass with five minutes remaining for his first career NFL TD.

That gave Green Bay some hope after their previous drive had ended with L'Jarius Sneed picking off a Love pass on Kansas City's five-yard line, but the Packers ran out of time. 

While the Chiefs (5-4) were not about to complain about the victory that got them back over .500, their season-long concerns about their offence continued as Patrick Mahomes had another unimpressive game. 

Former league MVP Mahomes completed 20 of 37 passes for just 166 yards but avoided throwing an interception for the first time since the season opener. His 54.1 completion percentage was his worst in a regular-season game since completing 51.2 per cent in a loss to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 5 last season. 

 

Cardinals cruise past 49ers without Murray

The other red-hot team playing without their star quarterback fared better, as the Arizona Cardinals rolled to a 31-17 defeat of the San Francisco 49ers despite Kyler Murray's absence through an ankle injury. 

Veteran Colt McCoy stepped in for the Cardinals and completed 22 of 26 passes for 249 yards, while James Conner rushed for 93 yards and a pair of scores as Arizona improved to 8-1. 

Three turnovers proved critical for San Francisco (3-5) as the 49ers lost two fumbles in the first half and had trouble sustaining drives throughout the game, with only 23:13 of possession compared to 36:47 for Arizona. 

Jimmy Garoppolo completed 28 of 40 passes for 326 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for San Francisco. 

In Philadelphia, Dustin Hopkins' 29-yard field goal with two seconds to play gave the Los Angeles Chargers (5-3) a 27-24 victory over the Eagles (3-6). 

It is the one question that has dominated the 2021 NFL season: what is wrong with the Kansas City Chiefs?

The Chiefs, expected to return to juggernaut status after completely remodelling their offensive line in the wake of their blowout Super Bowl loss, have lurched from one unconvincing performance to another this campaign.

They sit at 4-4 heading into a matchup with the 7-1 Green Bay Packers that has lost a significant amount of its prestige due to Aaron Rodgers being ruled out after testing positive for coronavirus.

A 20-17 victory over the New York Giants on Monday did nothing to calm concerns about Kansas City and this weekend's visit of Green Bay may provide the answer as to how broken this Chiefs team really is.

Heading into a clash that could play a critical role in determining the direction of the 2021 Chiefs, Stats Perform assesses whether a contender that has often looked more like a pretender is as broken as many believe.

Explosives in short supply

The offense was expected to be at its devastating best in 2021 following the reconstruction of the offensive line.

That has not come to pass. The Chiefs have moved the ball efficiently for the most part of the season, they are ninth in yards per play with 5.99, but have seen turnovers continually undermine their production, which has tailed off to 4.84 yards per play over the last two weeks.

Patrick Mahomes has thrown a league-leading 10 interceptions, though a deeper dive into his performances this year strongly indicates he should not have thrown anything close to that number.

Indeed, Mahomes has delivered an accurate, well-thrown ball on 80.5 per cent of his passes this season, down from 81.1 in 2019 but significantly up from 76.7 in 2020, while his pickable pass percentage of 1.99 is the seventh-best among quarterbacks with at least 50 attempts.

Mahomes has thrown six turnover-worthy balls in 2021 with those numbers reflective of a series of accurate passes that have clanked off the hands of his receivers and into the arms of grateful defenders.

Does that mean the receiving corps is to blame for the Chiefs' struggles?

Not necessarily.

Star wideout Tyreek Hill has been credited with five drops and has played a part in some of those Mahomes' interceptions but the speedster is still consistently creating separation.

Hill has produced a burn, which is where a receiver wins his matchup with a defender on a play where he is targeted, on 71.9 per cent of his targets. That is well above average among receivers (minimum five targets) of 61.1. With his 3.0 burn yards per route superior to the league-wide average of 2.3 for his position, Hill is still a huge problem for opposing defenders along with tight end Travis Kelce.

The metrics suggest Kelce's play has tailed off a little. His burn percentage has dropped from 72.3 in 2020 to 67.6 this year and he is putting up 2.6 burn yards per route compared to 3.1 last year. He is still on the right side of the ledger in each of those categories, however.

Where there has been a clear drop-off from Kansas City's chief offensive weapons, is in explosive plays.

Hill delivered a big play on 35.6 per cent of his targets last season but is doing so 23.8 per cent of the time this year, comfortably below the league average of 29.1 for receivers. Kelce's dip is less dramatic, going from a big play rate of 36 per cent in 2020 to 28.9 in 2021.

That is compounded by the lack of depth the Chiefs have at receiver. Their investment in Mecole Hardman as a second-round pick in 2019 continues to look ill-advised. He is averaging a disappointing 1.7 burn yards per route while Demarcus Robinson (0.8) has also struggled when it comes to creating clear separation.

Byron Pringle is third among receivers with at least 10 targets with a big-play rate of 49.8 but with a relatively small sample size of 22 targets. He has a strong case for a greater role in a Chiefs offense that is turning the ball over and getting a declining rate of explosive plays from its top weapons.

And yet it is still not their biggest problem.

Dismal defense

The Chiefs not living up to their extremely high standards would not be receiving the same level of scrutiny if Kansas City did not also possess the worst defense in the NFL.

That defense is allowing a league-high 6.43 yards per play, they are third-worst in the NFL against the pass (7.79) in that regard and fifth-worst (4.64) versus the run.

Kansas City's defense is one with problems in essentially every area. Their front has found it difficult to generate pressure, ranking 29th in pass rush win rate according to Stats Perform data.

Their issues in that regard forced their hand in trading for Melvin Ingram, who through seven games with the Steelers had a win rate of 30 per cent, above the average of 21.88 for edge rushers.

Yet there are also glaring concerns in the secondary.

Of the four Chiefs' cornerbacks to have been targeted at least 10 times, only Rashad Fenton (1.71) has a burn yards allowed per snap rate that is the right side of the league average of 1.97.

Perhaps an even bigger problem is the play of much-maligned safety Daniel Sorensen, who has given up a big play on 37.8 per cent of his targets, the third-highest rate among players at his position.

As such, Sorensen can expect to be attacked consistently by the Packers' offense, which should still have plenty of confidence of moving the ball despite Rodgers' absence.

All you need is Love?

The Packers have not been efficient, ranking a disappointing 20th in yards per play, but may have found a winning formula on the ground, having rushed for at least 100 yards in five of their last six games. 

Given the Chiefs' deficiencies in stopping the run, Kansas City can expect to see heavy doses of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon.

Yet at some point, the Packers must put their faith in Rodgers' backup Jordan Love in his first start, providing Steve Spagnuolo's defense with cause for optimism.

In his final season at Utah State in 2019, Love delivered a well-thrown ball just 66.74 per cent of the time, putting him significantly shy of the average of 73.20 per cent for Power 5 and Group of 5 quarterbacks with at least 100 attempts. His pickable pass rate of 8.21 per cent was the third worst.

And he deteriorated under pressure, his well-throw rate dropping to 54.89 and his pickable pass percentage increasing to 12.03 when under duress.

With limited NFL experience to his name, the Chiefs will hope the accuracy issues and his troubles against pressure continue at the NFL level.

But the impact of any inability to deal with the pass rush from Love will not be felt if the Chiefs cannot drastically improve their success in defeating opposing pass protectors.

The Chiefs are clearly a long way short of their usual standards but, with Mahomes more accurate than in recent years and their top receivers still getting separation from defenders, to label them broken may be a stretch.

However, if they cannot get the job done in a high-profile matchup that has, at least on paper, drastically tilted in their favour due to the controversy surrounding Rodgers, then it will be a fitting adjective for a team long since associated with much more complimentary language.

After a turbulent week in Green Bay, Jordan Love said Friday he is healthy and ready to make his first NFL start Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Love became the last quarterback standing for the Packers after starter Aaron Rodgers and third-stringer Kurt Benkert tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week. Green Bay have since signed veteran Blake Bortles as insurance. 

A first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Love made his NFL debut in the team's season-opening loss to the New Orleans Saints after watching from the sidelines all of last season. 

The Packers have won seven in a row since that defeat and it will be up to Love to maintain that momentum against Patrick Mahomes and the defending AFC champions at Arrowhead Stadium. 

"I've been preparing myself for that moment and now's the time," Love told reporters Friday. 

"Obviously there's going to be some nerves there. There always is, walking out of the tunnel. The atmosphere is going to be rocking. But I have a lot of confidence in myself, a lot of confidence in this team, and those dudes are going to take care of me.

"We've had a great week of practice. Those dudes are attacking it, and they're giving me a lot of confidence to go out there and play my best, too."

Though he has no consequential game experience as a pro, Love – who turned 23 on Tuesday – got first-team reps throughout the offseason as Rodgers was absent amid a dispute over his future with the team. 

Head coach Matt LaFleur said he is looking forward to seeing what his presumptive quarterback of the future can do against the Chiefs. 

"I think he's come a long way, but by no means is he a finished product," LaFleur said. "It's going to be a great opportunity for him to get his feet wet for the first time in a meaningful game, being that it's the regular season.

"So it'll be a great learning experience for him, and I'm just excited for his opportunity."

The Green Bay Packers head into Week 9 with a 7-1 record, though coach Matt LaFleur will have to figure out a way past the Kansas City Chiefs without his star quarterback.

Aaron Rodgers – who has thrown for 1,894 yards and made 17 touchdown passes this season – will miss his first Packers game since 2017 after testing positive for COVID-19.

The Arizona Cardinals are also now at 7-1 after losing their unbeaten record with a defeat to the Packers last week, and will be looking to get back to winning ways against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Los Angeles Rams are the only other team in the NFL that sits at 7-1 going into Week 9, and are set for a fascinating contest with the 6-2 Tennessee Titans.

 

Green Bay Packers (7-1) @ Kansas City Chiefs (4-4)

Overcoming Rodgers' absence will be no easy feat for Green Bay. Since the 37-year-old took over as the starter in 2008, the Packers are 133-64-1 with him, and 6-11-1 without.

The Packers knocked off the last unbeaten team in Week 8 with a 24-21 win at Arizona and are now on a seven-game winning streak, their longest within a single season since going 13-0 in 2011 on their way to a 15-1 record. Their only loss that season came in Kansas City.

The Chiefs hold a 7-4-1 record over Green Bay, but the Packers have won three of the last four meetings. They most recently played in Week 8 in 2019, with the Packers triumphing 31-24 at Arrowhead. Kansas City went 10-1 following that game on their way to winning the Super Bowl.

Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs to that championship and since he took over as the starting quarterback in 2018, Kansas City have had just six games with 20 or fewer points, including the postseason. Three of those games have come this season (Weeks 5, 7 and 8).

Wide receiver Tyreek Hill had 12 receptions in the Chiefs' 20-17 win against the Giants on Monday, one shy of tying a career high (set in Week 12, 2020 at Tampa Bay). The Chiefs are 15-2 (regular and postseason) when Hill has at least eight receptions.

Arizona Cardinals (7-1) @ San Francisco 49ers (3-4)

This will be the second meeting in the NFC West for these two teams this season, with Arizona already enjoying a 17-10 home win over San Francisco in Week 5. It is, though, the only game in which the Cardinals have not scored at least 21 points this year. The Cardinals have won five of their last six road games against the Niners, with three of those wins coming by at least 10 points.

The 24 points scored against the Cardinals by the Packers in Week 8 in their first loss of the campaign was the second most allowed by Arizona this season (33 against Minnesota in Week 2). Their average of 17.3 points allowed per game ranks third in the NFL.

San Francisco beat the Chicago Bears 33-22 last week, breaking a four-game losing streak and scoring their most points since a 41-33 win over the Detroit Lions in Week 1. Since the start of last season, the Niners are 1-10 at home and 8-4 on the road.

Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 322 yards and ran for two touchdowns in Chicago. The only 49ers player with more passing yards in a game while also rushing for multiple scores is Steve Young, who had games with 355 yards (1994), 348 (1991) and 331 (1998).

Tennessee Titans (6-2) @ Los Angeles Rams (7-1)

Including their win in Super Bowl XXXIV, the Rams have an all-time record of 8-5 against the Titans/Oilers franchise. The Titans' last game at the Rams in southern California came in Week 9, 1990, which saw a 17-13 Rams win over the then-Oilers in Anaheim.

Tennessee beat the Indianapolis Colts 34-31 in overtime last Sunday. It was their third overtime game this year, tying the franchise record for most overtime games in a single season (1983).

The Rams, meanwhile, defeated the Houston Texans 38-22 after leading 38-0 heading into the fourth quarter. They are one of two teams (along with the Dallas Cowboys) to score at least 20 points in every game this season.

Cooper Kupp had 115 receiving yards and a touchdown in that win in Houston, his third straight 100-yard game. Kupp has 10 touchdown catches from the first eight games of the season, second in Rams history only to Elroy Hirsch (12 TDs in 1951).

Elsewhere...

The New England Patriots travel to Carolina to face the Panthers on Sunday, where Mac Jones is set to make history. The rookie quarterback has 1,997 passing yards in his eight games in the NFL so far. Drew Bledsoe currently holds the record for fewest games needed to reach 2,000 passing yards with the Patriots (11). Butch Songin and Tom Brady managed it in 12 games.

The Minnesota Vikings will be hoping to end Lamar Jackson's impressive record against NFC teams. The Baltimore Ravens quarterback is 11-0 all-time as a starter in those meets, throwing for 1,901 yards and 17 touchdowns while running for 995 yards with six scores. 

Despite differing seasons, it could be a close contest in Jacksonville. Including the playoffs, the Bills (5-2) and Jaguars (1-6) have split eight all-time encounters when the Jags are the home team, with both teams scoring exactly 161 points. 

A clash in the AFC North sees the Cincinnati Bengals (5-3) host the Cleveland Browns (4-4), where Joe Burrow will be trying to become the first quarterback in Bengals history to throw three or more touchdown passes in four straight games. Andy Dalton also had three straight games of three or more TD passes in October 2013.

The Green Bay Packers have been boosted by the return of star wide receiver Davante Adams from the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Adams missed last week's 24-21 NFL win over the previously unbeaten Arizona Cardinals after testing positive for coronavirus on October 25.

The four-time Pro Bowler is now set to be available for Green Bay's showdown with the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, music to the ears of the Packers as reigning MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers is sidelined due to COVID-19.

"It's great to see those guys," Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said before Thursday's practice. "They were fired up to be back. It's a huge benefit to this team."

Adams leads the Packers (7-1) with 52 catches and 744 yards with three touchdowns this season.

The Packers are on a seven-game winning streak – their longest within a single season since opening the 2011 campaign 13-0 on their way to a 15-1 record. Their lone loss that season came in Kansas City, per Stats Perform.

Rodgers will miss his first game since the 2017 season when he broke his right clavicle. Since he took over as the starter in 2008, the Packers are 133-64-1 (67.4) with Rodgers, and 6-11-1 (36.1) without him.

The Packers have been at their best in the second quarter, posting an NFL-best -plus 36-point differential (scored 77, allowed 41). Kansas City's minus-40-point differential (scored 51, allowed 91) in the second quarter ranks 28th in the league, and is their worst mark in any quarter this year.

Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur has no explanation for why Aaron Rodgers described himself as "immunised", with Patrick Mahomes disappointed to miss out on a meeting with the reigning NFL MVP.

Reports on Wednesday revealed Rodgers has tested positive for coronavirus and will miss a minimum of 10 days as he is not vaccinated.

Before the season, the quarterback said he was "immunised", causing some confusion as the Packers now face being without him for two key games.

Rodgers will certainly miss this week's matchup with Mahomes' Kansas City Chiefs and is only set to be cleared for practice the day before Green Bay play the Seattle Seahawks next week.

Asked about Rodgers' contentious wording, coach LaFleur said: "That's a great question for Aaron – I'm not going to comment on it."

The shock development means Rodgers' wait for a first game against Mahomes will go on, with Jordan Love instead in line for his first career start under center.

Mahomes, whose Chiefs are a hugely underwhelming 4-4, said: "It's definitely disappointing [not to play Rodgers].

"I've watched his game for a long time. I feel I play a similar style. You always want to compete against the best.

"Hopefully he's healthy and it's not too bad. I'm sure he'll come back from it stronger than he was before."

Rodgers has been at the forefront of NFL discussion throughout this season, having pushed for a trade away from his only professional team before the campaign begun.

He was then awful in the stunning 38-3 Week 1 defeat to the New Orleans Saints, throwing two interceptions with a passer rating of 36.8 – the fourth-worst of his career.

However, Rodgers has since led the Packers to seven straight wins, a run they will attempt to continue in his absence.

Aaron Rodgers has been ruled out of the Green Bay Packers' clash with the Kansas City Chiefs after testing positive for COVID-19.

NFL Media's Tom Pelissero reported Rodgers had returned a positive test, meaning he will not go head to head with Kansas City Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes in a blockbuster quarterback matchup.

Instead, Rodgers' backup and heir apparent Jordan Love, controversially drafted in the first round in 2020, will get the start for the 7-1 Packers.

Rodgers, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo, is not vaccinated against coronavirus, meaning he is out for a minimum of 10 days. Asked about his vaccination status back in August, Rodgers said he was "immunised".

The news comes after the Packers prevailed in their Week 8 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals despite COVID issues that meant they did not have the services of wide receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard as well as defensive coordinator Joe Barry.

Now the onus is on Love to prevail against the odds in his first start on the road at Arrowhead Stadium.

In Love's favour is the form of the Chiefs' defense, which is giving up a league-high 6.43 yards per play.

Mahomes and the Chiefs have also struggled mightily on offense by their usual high standards. He has thrown a league-leading 10 interceptions and was unconvincing in Monday's 20-17 win over the New York Giants that saw the Chiefs improve to 4-4.

Rodgers is still yet to face Mahomes, the 2018 MVP and MVP of Super Bowl LIV, in his storied NFL career.

Three-time MVP Rodgers and the Packers last faced the Chiefs in 2019, but Mahomes was sidelined with a knee injury. Green Bay prevailed 31-24.

The Los Angeles Rams waived wide receiver DeSean Jackson after exploring trade opportunities prior to NFL's deadline.

Jackson was allowed to seek trade options for himself, but the deadline passed without a deal being made, though the Rams waiving the three-time Pro Bowler still allows him to explore opportunities elsewhere.

The 34-year-old, who signed a one-year deal in the offseason, caught eight of 15 passes for 221 yards and one touchdown in seven games for the 7-1 Rams.

"I'm not going to give it a grade. One came to mind, but that would probably be the headlines, right? Obviously it was an experiment that we attempted," said Rams general manager Les Snead on Tuesday.

"It didn't work out as well as we wanted it to, as DeSean wanted it to, as even [head coach] Sean [McVay] wanted it to, especially those two because they have a relationship that probably goes ... deeper than football.

"Didn't work out for us and that is why we somewhat wanted to move in this direction and come up with a win-win in this situation."

Jackson added: "I am very grateful for the time that I spent playing for the LA Rams. Although this isn't the outcome that we wanted, I am extremely appreciative for the opportunity and support given to me by the Rams coaches and all of the fans.

"I understand that everything happens for a reason and I look forward to beginning the next chapter of my NFL career."

Meanwhile, the Green Bay Packers cut linebacker Jaylon Smith just weeks after signing him.

Smith – acquired by the Packers after leaving the Dallas Cowboys – only made two appearances for high-flying Green Bay, playing a total of 27 snaps.

The Arizona Cardinals acknowledged the impact of DeAndre Hopkins' injury-affected outing against the Green Bay Packers in their first defeat of the year, but Kyler Murray said his team should still have played better.

The Cardinals came into Thursday night's huge game against the Packers looking to stretch their unbeaten start to 8-0 – a new franchise record.

Instead, Arizona went down 24-21 to Green Bay, who also improved to 7-1.

A last-gasp Murray interception – his second of the night – decided the game, but the earlier absence of wide receiver Hopkins had restricted the Cards to that point.

Having been dealing with a hamstring injury heading into the Packers game, Hopkins went out for more than two quarters due to the same issue.

Hopkins caught both of his targets for two first downs and 66 yards, but he had averaged 6.7 targets and 4.7 receptions per game throughout the Cardinals' winning run.

The former Houston Texans wideout failed to add to his seven season touchdowns, with Arizona's three scores all coming across the ground.

Unable to look to Hopkins as often as he would like, quarterback Murray threw multiple picks and no TDs in a game for the first time in his career.

But the Packers were also without their elite WR Davante Adams, along with number two option Allen Lazard, and Aaron Rodgers was still able to lead Green Bay to victory.

Murray was reluctant to make excuses, saying: "Obviously, if you take the best receiver in the game out [Hopkins], it makes it a little tough, but I have confidence in everybody out there.

"I don’t want to make it about that. It wasn’t about that. We just didn't play up to our standards."

Coach Kliff Kingsbury was willing to highlight Hopkins' absence, however.

"He's pretty good," he said. "I mean, that's a big part of our offense having that guy."

Crucially, the Cardinals were also missing players on defense. Corey Peters is out with COVID-19 and Rashard Lawrence has a calf injury, while Zaven Collins went out with a shoulder injury late in the first half.

J.J. Watt was surely the team's biggest miss, though, after his own shoulder injury that is set to end his season.

"We've got to get Rashard and Corey Peters back," Kingsbury said. "Obviously, having those two guys out was not ideal with J.J. going out as well. But you can't replace a presence like that."

Aaron Rodgers declared his love for the Green Bay Packers squad after Rasul Douglas proved the unlikely hero in a stunning win over the Arizona Cardinals.

The short-handed Packers ended the Cardinals' perfect start to the season while extending their winning streak to seven games following a 24-21 victory in the NFL on Thursday.

With 12 seconds remaining, Douglas was on hand to thwart the home team as he snatched the ball in the corner of the end zone from Kyler Murray's pass.

Douglas, who was previously with the Cardinals' practice squad, was only in action in the absence of Jaire Alexander and Kevin King.

"This is why I love this squad," Rodgers told Fox.

"The guy who made the pick was with them for four weeks. He was on the street, we brought him in, he's starting for us.

"He's a great dude and he's really meshed well with our team, and to come up with a play like that with 15 seconds left is incredible."

Rodgers, without wide receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard, was 22-of-37 passing for 184 yards as Matt LaFleur's men got the job done in gritty fashion in Arizona.

"This is a scrappy team," Rodgers said. "This is a tough, physical, gritty team.

"I'm so proud of our guys. I'm so proud of our line. I'm having so much fun with these guys.

"We ran the ball well, we knew we could. It was tough in the passing game at times, but [Randall] Cobb came up with a couple big touchdown catches."

The red-hot Green Bay Packers ended the Arizona Cardinals' perfect start to the season while extending their winning streak to seven games following a 24-21 victory in the NFL on Thursday.

Kyler Murray's Cardinals had won seven consecutive games to open the season, but Arizona finally came unstuck against Aaron Rodgers and the high-flying Packers.

Rodgers (22-of-37 passing for 184 yards without an interception) threw two touchdown passes to Randall Cobb as the Packers held on to beat the Cardinals – playing for the first time without star defensive end JJ Watt – after Murray's stunning last-gasp interception.

Chase Edmonds' 11-yard run gave the Cardinals a first-quarter lead – the Arizona star had entered Week 8 with 397 rushing yards this season, the most by any player in the NFL without a rushing TD.

Rodgers and the Packers took control from that point as Jones' second-quarter TD run and Green Bay's superstar quarterback Rodgers' pass to Cobb in the third quarter put the visitors ahead 17-7.

James Conner did strike before the end of the third to close the gap to three points, though the Rodgers-Cobb combination struck again early in the fourth to make it 24-14 in the Packers' favour.

Conner's second rushing touchdown set up a thrilling finish but as the Cardinals attempted to rally to their eighth straight victory, Murray (22-of-33 passing for 274 yards, no TDs and two interceptions) threw an interception on second-and-goal with 12 seconds remaining – Rasul Douglas on hand to snatch the ball in the corner of the end zone.

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