Patriots pull away in fourth quarter to beat Packers

Packers hold steady at No. 11 in latest USA TODAY power rankings

Packers hold steady at No. 11 in latest USA TODAY power rankings

Tom Brady threw for 294 yards and a touchdown, and James White ran for two scores to lead the New England Patriots to a 31-17 victory over Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. "It's a big, big week for us".

"They said they're looking forward to it, talked a lot about each other and it made it even more fun to get ready for the game". "They dropped back into a zone, somebody forgot to cover me". That set up a White rushing touchdown that put the Patriots ahead 24-17 in the fourth quarter. On the Patriots next possession, Brady connected with Josh Gordon for a 55-yard TD. "He's big, he's fast, he's tough and he competes well", Belichick said. "He played his butt off".

Here's what can't be debated: Brady is in a better situation.

The Patriots came out in a no-huddle and took just 10 plays in the opening 3:20 to move 59 yards with one of the keys to the drive, back James White, running in from 8 yards out.

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Rodgers completed 24 of 43 passes and two touchdowns but failed to rally his team after tying the game in the third quarter. "It really comes down to execution". That game has been flexed to 3:30 for TV purposes.

That's because Cowherd was told Aaron Rodgers would display his greatness against New England, yet the FS1 host came away feeling like Tom Brady again proved why he's the best ever despite some skeptics labeling the five-time Super Bowl champion a "system quarterback".

The Packers' secondary was already depleted because of two injuries and because Jermaine Whitehead was ejected after slapping a Patriots player in the face mask in a tussle at the end of a play, an offense that often draws a penalty but not a game disqualification.

"The defense played spectacular", Brady said. "We're hurting ourselves with negative-yardage plays and missed throws and turnovers at the wrong time and not being on the same page too many times, whether I'm missing a throw or we're not in the spot I think we're going to be at, it's happening in the worst times". "He's just so good". When the Patriots depth in the defensive backfield has been wiped out, similar to how it now is at running back, receivers Julian Edelman, Matthew Slater and Troy Brown have all taken snaps on defense. Mason is obviously a huge absence.

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Receiver Geronimo Allison has been nursing a groin injury that could require surgery.

Fans were in a celebratory mood before the game started as members of the World Series Champion Red Sox were honored, arriving onto the Gillette Stadium turf in a duck boat.

"It's unbelievable", Belichick said.

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