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Patriots Talk: 31-17 Win Over Packers

Huge Victory

What a game! The World Series champions, the Boston Red Sox, showed up at Gillette Stadium last night for moral support. (Including riding on the Boston Duck Boats!) However, the game was very much a close one. Both the Patriots and Green Bay Packers were 17-17 before the 4th quarter and it was anybody’s game. In fact, Brady at one point had seven straight in-completions during the second half (the highest of his NFL career). The team had a lot of luck on several penalties that helped with the team regaining control of the momentum of the game.


But of course, the obvious observations of the game were on both QBs. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers had been in the discussion for GOAT for the last few years. Aaron Rodgers was playing like himself at times, but  the Patriots’ defense last night had pressure on Rodgers all game. In fact, it was DT Lawrence Guy’s forced fumble on Packers’ RB Aaron Jones that turned the game in the Pats favor. In many ways, the defense was the MVP of the night.


Offense Was Off, While Defense Was On

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The team was without TE Rob Gronkowski for the second straight week and RB Sony Michel is still out with a knee injury. Despite this, the team didn’t miss a beat. Tom Brady was 22-of-35, for 294 yards passing and 1 TD. While Aaron Rodgers was 24-of-43 for 259 yards and 2 TDs. Based on the stats, both QBs played about as well as expected.


However, the difference was clearly in the defenses. The Patriots came out strong and key performances to note were from DEs Trey Flowers and Adrian Clayborn. Not only did they have Aaron Rodgers under pressure, but they kept the offensive line on guard. Both were disruptive and it helped in maintaining the Patriots control of time of possession. This was the major key to this win. The Patriots simply had to take the ball out of Rodgers’ hands. This worked for the most part but injuries and penalties heavily cost the Packers in this game.


Injuries and Penalties On The Packers

There were numerous calls on both teams last night that were questionable. However, two of them stood out the most. The call on Packers Safety Jermaine Whitehead for slapping Patriots Center David Andrews. There were many commentators who felt that the call was a bit too much to be ruled an ejection as it resulted in Whitehead to be benched for the remainder of the game.


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The second call was on roughing the punter to Patriots punter Ryan Allen. He had a late hit against Packers TE Robert Tonyan. However, on-air commentators for Sunday Night Football, Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels, debated over the call and thought the correct ruling would have been ‘running into the punter’. (which would have resulted in only 5 yards as a penalty) However, the ruling was due to the severity of the hit because Allen couldn’t avoid getting hit. However, if this was called running into the punter it would still have been 4th down instead. This call was felt by many to be worth challenging but the call stood.


Additionally, Packers cornerback Kevin King, safety Kentrell Brice and linebacker Blake Martinez all were forced to exit Sunday night’s game with injuries. Patriots WR Josh Gordon confirmed that he had dislocate his finger on a play in the endzone but popped it back in to finish the game. (which includes his 55-yard TD from Tom Brady.


With this win, the Patriots will advance to 7-2 and will travel for Sunday’s game against the 3-4 Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium at 1:00 PM EST.


Written By

Stephen is a Contributing Editor for Trifecta Sports Network and covers the New England Patriots and the NFL.

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