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Pedro Dias Costa

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Before the Packers travelled to New England to face the Patriots, the NFL world was advertising this matchup as a potential battle of the Greatest Quarterbacks of all-time.

The hype was justified as Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers have been great for the most part of their respective careers in the NFL. However, fans watched a game in which neither quarterback was particularly brilliant and the Patriots beat the Packers 31-17. In fact, it would not be unfair to say that this game was a letdown.

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The Patriots implemented a no-huddle strategy in the beginning of the game that worked pretty well for them on the team’s first drive and they scored a touchdown very quickly in the first quarter. For a moment, it looked like the Packers were going to be in a world of trouble for most of the night.

Nevertheless, after New England’s first drive, their offense was not very good until the 4th quarter. After the fumble forced by their DT Lawrence Guy, Brady and company dominated a game that was tied at 17-17 and ran the Packers out of their building. Brady did not have his best performance, but his team’s defense did a good job against Rodgers for most of the game. Once the 4th quarter started, he played as well as he usually does when games are on the line. Brady finished the game with 22 completions on 35 attempts, 294 yards and 1 TD.

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On the other hand, the Packers played pretty much like they have been playing the whole season. The inconsistency on offense once again doomed head coach Mike McCarthy and his team. McCarthy’s playcalling has been a cause for concern for most of the season for Packers fans and, so far, no solution has been found. It is impossible to understand how an offense that has Rodgers as its quarterback has been so inconsistent 9 weeks into the NFL season. There is just no explanation. Rodgers finished the game with 24 completions on 34 attempts, 259 yards and 2 TDs.

Indiscipline has also been an issue for the Packers lately and it showed on this game. When Packers SS Jermaine Whitehead slapped Patriots C David Andrews and was ejected as a result, the Packers showed once again that can’t get out of their own way.

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Against Bill Belichick, the best head coach in the NFL, and the Patriots in their house, Gillete Stadium, you are not going to win playing like that. You can bet on that. Couple that with the fact that RB Aaron Jones fumbled the football in the beginning of the 4th quarter and the offensive inconsistency, it is easy to explain why the Packers lost this game. 

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The Patriots won this game because, at the end of the day, they are the better team at this point of the season. However, both teams need to play better if they want to become real threats to win it all this season. Super Bowl contenders usually play well for the most part of their games. The Patriots and the Packers failed to do that in this game and they need to correct that as soon as possible in order to be taken seriously.

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