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Packers' perfect season ruined by Chiefs

Green Bay fans watch the end of Kansas City's win in their NFL game in Kansas City, Missouri
Green Bay fans watch the end of Kansas City's win in their NFL game in Kansas City, Missouri

By Julian Linden

(Reuters) - The Green Bay Packers suffered a shock 19-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, shattering their hopes of a perfect season as three more teams joined them in the National Football League (NFL) playoffs.

The New England Patriots wrapped up the AFC East division with a 41-23 win over the Denver Broncos while the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens both advanced, before their games had even kicked off, when other results went their way.

With just two weeks of the regular season left, seven of the 12 postseason berths have already been snapped up, setting up a mad scramble for the last five spots.

After winning 19 consecutive games, including last season's Super Bowl, the Packers were on the verge of a host of records when they slipped up against a struggling opponent that fired their coach and benched their quarterback in the past week.

But the Chiefs (6-8) overcame their own off-field problems to produce their best performance of the season in the first game under interim coach Romeo Crennel.

With new starting quarterback Kyle Orton throwing for 299 yards, Ryan Succop kicked four field goals and Jackie Battle scored the game-winning touchdown.

The Packers, who fell to 13-1 this season, badly missed injured receiver Greg Jennings and quarterback Aaron Rodgers was below his best, completing 17 of 35 passes for 235 yards while being sacked four times.

The result denied the Packers a chance of joining the 1972 Miami Dolphins as the only teams to go through an entire season undefeated as well as spoiling their bid to break New England's 21-game win streak, set in 2003-04.

"I viewed an undefeated season as gravy," Packers coach Mike McCarthy told a news conference. "Our goal was to get home-field advantage and win the Super Bowl."

After winning their first 13 games this season, the Packers were already guaranteed a first round bye and a home game in the second week of the playoffs.

If they win one of their remaining two games, or the San Francisco 49ers lose any of their last three, Green Bay will lock up the top seed in the NFC.

While the Packers were rueing the end of their streak, the Indianapolis Colts were celebrating the end of an embarrassing run of 13 straight losses as they finally registered their first win of the season, beating the Tennessee Titans 27-13.

The Colts have been without star quarterback Peyton Manning all season and Colts vice chairman Bill Polian later confirmed he would not play in the remaining two games.

The Colts' win over the Titans ensured the Steelers, last year's AFC Champions, were safely through to the playoffs before their clash with the 49ers on Monday.

Their divisional rivals, the Ravens, were also gifted a spot in the playoffs before their game with the San Diego Chargers after the New York Jets were beaten 45-19 by the Philadelphia Eagles and the Oakland Raiders fell 28-27 to the Detroit Lions.

There were mixed results on Sunday for the two other teams that have reached the postseason.

New Orleans, Super Bowl champions two seasons ago, served notice they are hitting their peak at the right time with a 42-20 demolition of the Minnesota Vikings (2-12).

Drew Brees passed for 412 yards and five touchdowns as the Saints chalked up their sixth straight win to improve to 11-3.

But the Houston Texans' (10-4) seven-game winning streak came to an abrupt end when they were beaten 28-13 by the Carolina Panthers (5-9).

Carolina quarterback Cam Newton threw a pair of touchdown passes and needs just 18 more yards to break Manning's record for most yards by a rookie quarterback.

(Editing by Frank Pingue)

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