The Packers have been giving up too many big plays on defense all season, and injuries now appear to be taking a toll on the offense.
Already missing wide receiver Greg Jennings, the Packers lost starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga to a left knee sprain and backup Derek Sherrod to a broken right leg.
It all caught up to them in a 19-14 loss to the Chiefs.
It’s only one game, and it doesn’t change the Packers’ status as overwhelming favorites in the NFC.
But the issues that came up at Kansas City are challenges the Packers will have to overcome to put together another Super Bowl run.
“Very quiet plane ride home last night, and understandably so,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Monday.
“Everybody’s disappointed with the loss and the opportunity to have an undefeated season. But the reality is upon us. We have the goal of getting of home-field advantage right in front of us. We have it at home, against the Bears, and that’s what we need to get ready for.”
Going into their Christmas Night matchup against Chicago at Lambeau Field, players were disappointed to lose a chance to go through a season unbeaten but reiterated that another Super Bowl was always their main goal.
“The perfect season is over now,” wide receiver Donald Driver said after Sunday’s game. “We can let that kinda die out. Right now, the only thing we can do is go 18-1. If that’s 18-1 and you’re the Super Bowl champs, I don’t think anyone cares about the perfect season after that.”
“We know we have five games left to win the whole thing, and it’s going to start next week, Christmas Day,” Driver said. “We’ve just got to go back and look at our mistakes, correct them and get ready to play ball.”
Cornerback Charles Woodson wasn’t buying the theory that a loss could help the Packers refocus.
“No,” Woodson said Sunday. “Losing is never good.”