- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 20, 2011

GREEN BAY, WIS. (AP) - The Green Bay Packers aren’t perfect. That much was clear even before a surprise loss at Kansas City on Sunday cost them a shot at an undefeated season.

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 disappointing 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. We know we have five games left to win the whole thing, and it’s going to start next week, Christmas Day. 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.”

On offense, the Packers appeared to dearly miss Jennings, who sprained his left knee in the Dec. 11 victory over Oakland and is expected to recover in time for the playoffs. When Jennings is healthy, he often becomes the primary focus for an opposing defense _ allowing teammates to run free.

Packers receivers spent last week talking about having to step up in Jennings‘ absence. But when it came to Sunday’s game, they had an alarming number of drops early on and struggled to get open at times. McCarthy said he hopes to practice outside Wednesday and Thursday to get his receivers more accustomed to catching in the cold.

“It’s more focus,” McCarthy said. “It’s not something that we’re physically unable to do.”

Aaron Rodgers was sacked four times Sunday, and his protection looks thin going into Sunday’s game against Chicago after injuries to Bulaga and Sherrod.

McCarthy said Bulaga would be “challenged” to play this week, and Sherrod is recovering from surgery.

The Packers hope to get veteran left tackle Chad Clifton back at practice Wednesday, but he has been out since hurting his hamstring Oct. 9 at Atlanta. His return to the field was delayed by a back injury he sustained during the rehabilitation process.

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