“Getting the offense the ball in a good spot in a tied game at the time, it’s awesome,” Lancaster said. “You have to be ready for anything. I don’t want to say it was lucky but that was definitely a blessing to get the ball.”
The Packers’ defense started fast Sunday night, allowing only seven yards on Kansas City’s first two offensive possessions. The Chiefs, playing with backup Matt Moore at quarterback, punched back in the second quarter with three straight scoring drives to pull ahead 17-14 at halftime.
The Packers, who stressed better tackling fundamentals at halftime, came out and forced a quick three-and-out thanks to cornerback Jaire Alexander stopping Sammy Watkins for a 2-yard loss on first down and a Za’Darius Smith sack on third.
However, it was Lancaster’s takeaway on the first play of Kansas City’s next possession that loomed large in Green Bay’s victory. Jamaal Williams went on to score on a 3-yard touchdown pass after the turnover, allowing the Packers to retake the lead.
“At halftime, we came in here and let everybody know this is going be our test. This is going to be what is going to make us or break us,” said Za’Darius Smith, who had a pair of third-down sacks Sunday. “To go back out there, (Lancaster) stripped the ball and picked it up for us. That’s big by him. When he got to the sideline, I told him, ‘Man, you saved our life on that play.’”
Kansas City stretched Green Bay’s defense with underneath concepts designed for speedsters Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman, who combined for eight catches for 121 yards and a touchdown.
Kansas City mounted one more scoring drive after Lancaster’s takeaway but was forced to punt after defensive back Chandon Sullivan’s breakup of a pass intended for tight end Travis Kelce on third-and-3 from the Kansas City 40.
After a second quarter in which the Chiefs tallied 225 yards and 17 points, the Packers’ defense rallied to hold Kansas City to only 112 and seven points over the other three quarters.
“We stayed together,” Lancaster said. “Adversity happened but I think that’s the sign of a great defense is when things go wrong, you can stick together and make plays happen. When our backs are against the wall and we come out in the end victorious, I feel like we’re in a great place.”