What looked to be a pretty easy matchup for the Pats, turned out to be a pretty challenging one. Matt Flynn started and played the whole game for the concussed Aaron Rodgers and actually looked pretty good throughout. He was a little unsure of himself at times and the Patriots took advantage of that, but Flynn played well for the most part considering this was the second time for him on the field all season. On top of Flynn looking good, the whole Packers team looked pretty good.
A 3-point opening drive was a surprise for this offense without their star QB, but that did not discourage the Patriots at all. They drove right back and Green-Ellis took the ball to the house for a 33-yard TD run. From there, I thought the game was going to be in control of the Patriots and they would romp just like most fans thought they would. However, this was not the case at all. The Packers scored back to back TDs and took a 17-7 lead in the second quarter. The game was taking a surprise turn and becoming actually a good one. Luckily the Patriots scored another TD just before the half and kept the game in check being down just 3 going into halftime. Brady was a big reason the Patriots struggled throughout the game. He was not himself and the Packers defense seemed to fluster him quite a bit. He was sacked a few times and just was not making those quick decisions he usually does. The Patriots did however play a little better in the second half and were able to defeat the Packers 31-27.
The victory did come at the help of the Packers poor clock management skills. On 4th down and 1 with 15 seconds to play at the Patriots 15 yard-line or so, the Packers were out of timeouts and it seemed as though the players on the field were unaware. The clock kept ticking as they slowly got set and up to the line of scrimmage. Apparently some Packers’ players told Flynn to spike the ball not knowing it was 4th down. Once the entire offense figured out this was their last play, it was quite too late. They got the snap off in time, but Flynn was almost immediately sacked and they did not really have a chance to score.
The Patriots had somewhat of an off game, but did still get a win. This week should be easier facing the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots do not have much to worry about since they have clinched a playoff spot already, but they will want to win to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
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Written by David Reid