GREEN BAY, Wisconsin — This time, a sluggish start did in the Kansas City Chiefs.
A week after a stunning, last-minute loss at home to Denver, Jamaal Charles rushed for three touchdowns, including two in a respectable fourth-quarter effort for the Chiefs on the road.
Kansas City still lost 38-28 to Green Bay on Monday night, overwhelmed by quarterback Aaron Rodgers' five touchdown passes and the Packers' pass rush.
"Green Bay did a nice job," said a curt Chiefs coach Andy Reid.
The message came through loud and clear in the locker room for the Chiefs (1-2).
Rodgers dissected another defense on a national stage, going 24 of 35 for 333 yards. Randall Cobb caught three touchdown passes.
Rodgers led the Packers (3-0) on two successful first-quarter drives that ended with scoring passes to Cobb and rookie Ty Montgomery. He found James Jones for a 27-yard touchdown reception late in the second quarter for a 17-point lead at the break.
"I just think we're scratching the surface a little bit," Rodgers said about the high-scoring offense.
Charles' 7-yard TD with 1:25 left got the Chiefs within 10. But the end result was the same for Kansas City, which lost its second straight.
On defense, the Packers controlled the line of scrimmage when it counted and got to Alex Smith for seven sacks.
Smith finished 24 of 40 for 290 yards and a touchdown.
But the first half was brutal, when Smith was 2 of 7 for 39 yards.
"Forcing (them) to punt that first half was pretty boring, being on the sideline," Packers linebacker Clay Matthews said. "But, hopefully, this is just an indication of where we're headed as a defense."
When asked, Reid said he would not consider a change at quarterback.
"I'll watch the tape on that," he said when asked to evaluate Smith's night. "That's my responsibility, though, whatever, the whole thing here, offensively and defensively. It's my responsibility."
Under pressure near his own end zone, Smith also threw an interception to Sam Shields at the Chiefs 19 with about 7 minutes left in the third quarter. Shields returned it 15 yards, and on the next play, Rodgers found Cobb for a 4-yard touchdown and a 31-7 lead.
Rodgers and Cobb hooked up for another 4-yard scoring pass in the fourth. With the score, Rodgers set the franchise record with his fourth career game of at least five touchdown passes.
Kansas City stopped its long streak of no touchdown receptions by a receiver when Jeremy Maclin hauled in a 5-yard TD pass with 56 seconds left in the third quarter to get the Chiefs within 31-14.
It was the first touchdown pass caught by a Chiefs receiver since Donnie Avery had a 79-yard catch-and-run against the Indianapolis Colts in a wild card game on Jan. 4, 2014.
NOTES: A week after fumbling twice, Charles had a little fun with his own Lambeau Leap into the awaiting arms of Chiefs fans following his 4-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. ... CB Phillip Gaines left late in the first quarter with a sprained knee, further depleting a thin position for Kansas City. ... For Green Bay, Jones finished with seven catches for 139 yards and a score. ... WR Davante Adams left following the first series after re-aggravating a left ankle injury. ... Also leaving the game for the Packers were TE Andrew Quarless (knee) and DL Datone Jones (head).
Follow Genaro Armas at http://twitter.com/GArmasAP