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Week 9: Green Bay Packers vs New England Patriots Recap

Thomas Gerling via Flickr

NFL

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots Move Past Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers

The highly-anticipated quarterback showdown of this era took place this week on Sunday Night Football. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers faced off for only the second time in their careers. The New England Patriots brought home their sixth straight win over the Packers 31-17.

The Packers now sit at 3-4-1 and third in the NFC North standings. At this point in the season, if they continue to lose, their playoff chances will vanish sooner than later.

Since the Miami Dolphins won against the New York Jets, the Patriots still hold a two-game lead in the AFC East. At 7-2, their chances of making the playoffs are certainly very high.

Green Bay Packers’ Struggles

The game was a tight race until the fourth quarter. Going into the fourth, tied 17-17, the Packers were moving down the field — until an Aaron Jones fumble put the Patriots back on offense. The Packers handed over the reins and, with it, the advantage. Jones managed 153 touches as a pro before his first career fumble.

The Packers’ defense, meanwhile, was slimming. Cornerback Kevin King was ruled out and, shortly after, top tackler Blake Martinez was carted off with an ankle injury. He returned in the Packers last defensive series but, at that point, the Patriots were up 14.

Aaron Rodgers threw 24/43 for 259 yards and two touchdowns. However, he failed to connect with wide receivers Devante Adams and Randall Cobb for big plays when they needed it most. With 7:20 left in the game, the Packers needed to make a move. After rallying to the 50 yard line, they fell short on 4th and 3.

New England Patriots’ Highs

As the Packers lost player after player on defense, Tom Brady continued to pounce on his opportunities. Brady threw 22/35 294 yards and one touchdown. After Jones’s fumble, Brady and the Patriots pulled out multiple trick-plays to get themselves downfield twice.

The first was on the drive after the fumble. With a backward pass from Brady to Edelman, Edelman set up and threw to James White for 37 yards. The play marked James White 61st reception of the season, a new career high.

The second trick play came on the last scoring drive of the game. Brady knew that two rookie defensive backs were in on zone coverage. His eyes scanned the field and came upon new addition Josh Gordon, who was left wide open. Brady seized on the open look and threw for a 55-yard play that led to a touchdown and demise of the Packers.

Aftermath

Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are now 1-1 when facing each other. The Packers and the Patriots are not set to meet again, outside of a possible Super Bowl showdown, until 2022. Although both insist they’ll still be playing in 2022, the game could very well have been the last matchup of their respective careers.

Photo Credit: Thomas Gerling via Flickr

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