Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady meet for the final time ever (probably) in what should be an outstanding Sunday Night Football outing.
As we’ve arrived to the season’s halfway point, it’s time to bust out the first live blog of the season. Let’s get it!
ANNOUNCERS: AL MICHAELS, CRIS COLLINSWORTH, MICHELE TAFOYA (SIDELINE REPORTER)
Unfortunately for Brady, he will be without rookie running back Sony Michel and All-Universe tight end Rob Gronkowski for tonight’s clash.
8:21PM – Michele Tafoya informs us that the #12 is the most commonly worn number by quarterbacks in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Not an accident and fitting for tonight….
8:24 – Patriots running a no-huddle tonight open up with the ball first….
8:27 – Green Bay trying to play D tonight or nah?
8:28 – Hope you didn’t go to the refrigerator…New England annihilates the Packers D with a no-huddle attack and finishes it off with an eight-yard James White touchdown. Clearly, they are prepared to need 50 points tonight. Not a great sign for an already suspect Green Bay defense.
PATRIOTS 7, PACKERS 0
8:32 – Aaron Rodgers time.
8:37 – A big offsides penalty on the Patriots switches a 3rd and 7 into a 3rd and 2 near midfield. It’s costly as the Packers springboard into Patriots territory as a result.
8:43 – Packers run a quick screen on a 3rd and goal from the NE 11. Guess what?!?!?! It doesn’t work. Highly questionable call by the Packers. Field goals and punts are for the meek tonight.
PATRIOTS 7, PACKERS 3
8:45 – Yes Aaron, yes.
8:50 – After a quick first down throw to Edelman, Brady throws a seed to Edelman on a 2nd and 7 in Packers territory…and he drops it. It kills the drive as tackle Mike Daniels sacks Brady on the next play. Critical drop by Edelman, which leads to a punt.
8:51 – Weird fun fact about tonight’s game:
8:57 – Facing a 3rd and 6 near midfield, the Patriots send a blitz at Rodgers to get the ball out of his hands and it works. Packers are forced to punt.
9:00 – CORDARELLE PATTERSON IS RUNNING THE FOOTBALL AS A RUNNING BACK FOR THE SECOND WEEK IN A ROW.
END OF FIRST QUARTER: PATRIOTS 7, PACKERS 3
9:07 – After a pair of long completions to Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman to the Packers 10, the Green Bay D stiffens to force a much-welcomed field goal.
PATRIOTS 10, PACKERS 3
9:08 – Getting the feeling watching this that the Patriots are a play or two away from blowing this game open…but not having the big fella hurts down near the end zone hurts.
9:09 – In an unrelated news, this is funny. Here is a Packers journo reacting to Green Bay’s delay of game earlier.
9:14 – Patriots D keeps Rodgers in check again on next drive. Just the right amount of pressure by New England’s front four. Good effort by them tonight.
9:17 – Patriots go three and out after a near-miraculous catch by Josh Gordon is called incomplete. Looked good to me but not good enough to win a challenge probably.
9:27 – This is a catch friends.
9:28 – Solid drive by the Packers keyed by their rushing attack. You wonder if Belichick is forcing them to run tonight. Seems that way…
9:29 – Packers cap a 13-play, 79-yard touchdown drive with a short toss from Rodgers to Davante Adams to tie the game. The game has played out favorably for the Patriots but they haven’t been able to capitalize in full since the game’s initial drive.
PATRIOTS 10, PACKERS 10
9:36 – James White got hurt on a 3rd down run. That’s a potential catastrophe for the Patriots…
9:38 – Speaking of catastrophes, Packers defensive back Jermaine Whitehead slaps Patriots center David Andrews in the helmet…and gets ejected. Yikes. That ushers New England deep into Packers territory along with several Paterson runs. He is getting holes to run through like he’s 1995 Emmitt Smith.
9:42 – Cordarrelle Patterson caps the drive running like he is Larry Johnson. New England regains the lead on a Paterson five-yard run.
PATRIOTS 17, PACKERS 10
9:48 – Cris Collinsworth is not happy about the Whitehead ejection.
9:50 – On a 3rd and 2 near midfield, Rodgers rolls out left and fumbles the football out of bounds short of the line of gain. Punt time for Green Bay as the second quarter and first half comes to an end. Could be better for the Patriots. Could be worse for the Packers.
HALFTIME: PATRIOTS 17, PACKERS 10
10:05 – Quarterback yardage tracker: Rodgers, 123. Brady, 121.
10:10 – Belichick wins a challenge on an Adams catch but Rodgers erases the advantage immediately. A bomb to MVS for 51 yards gets into the red zone.
10:15 – Rodgers to Jimmy Graham. It’s a seed for six. Just like that, we are tied again.
PATRIOTS 17, PACKERS 17
10:26 – Brady picks his way down the field again with Gordon, Edelman, and Dwayne Allen (!!!) receptions. It culminates with another Patterson TD….I think. He barely gets into the end zone.
10:28 – Whoops. OVERTURNED.
10:30 – 4th and GOAL!
10:31 – Brady throws on 4th and goal inside the 1….and throws incomplete. Packers D holds.
10:41 – Patriots force a three and out from the Packers. However, Green Bay’s D forces a three and out with a sack of Brady leading to 4th and 21.
10:43 – A highly suspect roughing the kicker penalty gives New England new life. Sheesh.
10:45 – Once again, Green Bay avoids danger and forces another Brady incompletion on 3rd and 3 from around midfield.
10:50 – Rodgers is heating up friends as MVS makes a couple of big catches including a 3rd and 1 grab and another deep into Packers territory.
10:53 – Just when it looks like Aaron Rodgers is going to seize control of the game, Aaron Jones fumbles in Patriots territory. Hand that football back to Tom.
10:59 – Hahaha, I love Patriots games where they are almost borderline emptying the playbook for answers…and it works. Edelman completes a 37-yard pass to James White inside the Packers 5.
11:00 – After a few futile attempts, James White barrels in for another touchdown to put New England back on top.
PATRIOTS 24, PACKERS 17
11:05 – In somewhat of a surprise, the Packers go three and out. New England’s D-line including Trey Flowers blows through Green Bay’s offensive line for a third down sack of Rodgers. Now, the Patriots will likely work on the clock with about eight minutes left to go in the game.
11:11 – After looking suspect at times during the second half, Brady connects to Josh Gordon on a 55-yard touchdown strike. Green Bay in deep trouble in Foxborough.
PATRIOTS 31, PACKERS 17
11:21 – Listening to the Patriots radio call as I type this. Patriots radio color analyst once again artfully informs us that sleep is for losers.
11:22 – Fourth down for the Packers near midfield and Rodgers can’t connect on the play. Looks like he is banged up. Patriots pass rush has beaten him up over the last couple of drives.
11:31 – Patriots run out the clock thanks to another completion to Gordon and another first down run by Edelman. Patriots keep finding a way…
FINAL: PATRIOTS 31, PACKERS 17
11:32 – FIN.
SUMMARY: This is likely it for arguably the two greatest quarterbacks of all-time. Green Bay was game but in the end, Brady and the New England braintrust had too many tricks up their sleeves for Green Bay to catch up in the fourth quarter.
FINAL QB NUMBERS:
Aaron Rodgers – 24 of 43, 259 YARDS, 2 TD, 0 INT
Tom Brady – 22 of 35, 294 YARDS, 1 TD, 0 INT
CUE THE MUSIC:
Goodnight from Foxborough.