Sunday, November 30, 2014

Packers hand Patriots first loss since September


In the first ever meeting between a pair of the league's elite No. 12s, the younger one got the better of the action.

Aaron Rodgers connected on 24 of 38 passes for 368 yards and two touchdowns, fending off a hungry New England Patriots defense en route to a 26-21 victory over Tom Brady's squad. Brady also threw for a pair of scores and amassed 245 yards.

The game was a potential Super Bowl preview and the first time Rodgers and Brady faced off.

New England (9-3), which lost for the first time in seven contests, fell to a 13-0 deficit through the first quarter before running back Brandon Bolden found the end zone.

Brandon LaFell caught both of Brady's scoring strikes and helped keep the Patriots alive. However, a Rodgers-to-Randall Cobb pass completion on a late-game third-and-four sealed it for the home team.

Rodgers threw touchdown passes of 32 and 45 yards to Richard Rodgers and Jordy Nelson, respectively.

Both kickers--Patriots' Stephen Gostkowski and Packers' Mason Crosby--missed field goal kicks, though Gostkowski never got another shot. Crosby, meanwhile, was good on four other boots and helped increase Green Bay's point total throughout the game after an array of red zone errors by the offense.

Jamie Collins had a sack and a forced fumble for the Patriots, and fellow defenders Dont'a Hightower and Chris Jones also recorded quarterback takedowns. Mike Daniels and Mike Neil combined for the Packers' lone sack, though it was a big one late to stall the Patriots' fourth-quarter rally bid. Gostkowski missed his kick on the ensuing play.

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