It was a game of matchups on Sunday as the New England Patriots beat the Green Bay Packers at Gillette Stadium.
Matchups included the two best quarterbacks in the NFL, the receiver-cornerback pairing of the Packers' Davante Adams and the Patriots' Stephon Gilmore and an offense missing some of its most important players versus a defense that dealt with injuries itself.
There was certainly a lot going on at Gillette Stadium, but the Patriots stayed focused as they held on for a 31-17 win over the Packers.
Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are some of the best to ever lineup under center and their highly publicised matchup did not disappoint. The two went shot-for-shot in a game that was tied heading into the fourth quarter. The win would go to Brady, his first ever against Rodgers.
The Patriots started with a quick 10-play, three-minute touchdown drive and Rodgers answered by putting the team in field goal range. They would continue to trade scores with some big stops, turnovers and huge plays mixed in.
We run through that and more from New England's win over Green Bay.
In a game of possessions, this one mattered a lot
After both teams' opening scoring drives, it seemed as if the game would come down to who had the ball last. But a costly mistake by the Packers dug the visitors into a hole not even Rodgers could climb out of.
Green Bay entered halftime trailing by a touchdown but came out of the break to tie things up as Rodgers found tight end Jimmy Graham for a 15-yard score. It was the only points scored in the third quarter, which meant two of the best fourth-quarter quarterbacks would again go possession-for-possession.
But running back Aaron Jones lost the ball as Rodgers tried to move into the red zone.
Brady and company turned around and scored on the ensuing drive to build a lead they would never relinquish.
Patriots used new weapons
New England entered the contest missing a few of their big names. Tight end Rob Gronkowski and rookie running back Sony Michel were ruled out as they both nurse injuries, which left Brady to look for other targets against the fifth best passing defense in the league.
Well, he certainly found that.
Brady did not just look to the combination of Cordarrelle Patterson - the wide receiver turned running back in this game - and James White for the bulk of the yards in the back field.
Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman were some of his favorite targets via the pass and he found Gordon on a sneaky touchdown.
The Patriots were without a few players but there is no shortage of talent on this roster. Patterson rushed for 61 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries. White finished with 31 yards and two scores on the ground and another 72 receiving yards. Gordon led all receivers with 130 yards and the lone touchdown and Eldeman had a 71-yard night on six catches.
A bruised up defense did not help the Packers
Green Bay's defense struggled to pressure Brady most of the game while the Packers also struggled with a number of injuries.
Four players - one on offense - were listed as questionable and two exited the game with injuries. Offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga was the first to leave the matchup with a knee injury. Three other players, all on defense, also suffered injuries: safety Kentrell Brice (knee), cornerback Kevin King (hamstring) and linebacker Blake Martinez (ankle).
The Packers were forced to adjust not only to the wrinkles the Patriots were throwing at them but their own injuries. Green Bay got a hold of Brady twice, but gave him too much time in the pocket and the five-time Super Bowl champion took full advantage. Brady completed 22 of his 35 passes for 294 yards and one touchdown.
|Rudolph confirms five-year offer from Vikings|
|Cleveland, Kansas City to host future NFL Drafts|
|Those Star Wars writers might have been busy! Rodgers unhappy with Game of Thrones finale|
|49ers pass rusher Bosa tweaks hamstring|
|Rodgers says Packers´ new offense is ´going to look different´|
|O.J. Simpson´s No. 32 Bills jersey assigned for first time in 42 years|
|Eagles QB Carson Wentz will be full participant in OTAs|
|Buccaneers release McCoy after nine seasons|
|Steelers QB Roethlisberger ´genuinely sorry´ for Brown comments|
|Eagles defensive end Long announces retirement|
|I haven´t worn down yet - Ezekiel Elliott responds to talk of reduced workload|
|Prescott wants to be with Cowboys ´forever´|
|Traded Rosen has still not heard from Cardinals GM Keim|
|Jets fire GM Maccagnan & promote Gase to interim GM|
|EJ Manuel retires aged 29|
|Harris deserves new deal, says Broncos team-mate Miller|
|Kessler replaces Foles as Eagles bolster Wentz back-up options|
|Packers quarterback Rodgers shines in Game of Thrones cameo|
|Murray´s rookie contract with Cardinals includes huge guaranteed money|
|This Week in US Sports: Warriors suffer huge blow, Jaguars star sitting out|
|WATCH: Tony Romo chips in for eagle at Byron Nelson|
|Seahawks release ´legendary players´ Baldwin and Chancellor|
|Jaguars´ Smith to sit out 2019 NFL season|
|Beckham wants to turn Browns into new Patriots|
|Elway believes Broncos´ quarterback problems are resolved|
|This Week in US Sports: Hill case developing, Ainge suffers heart attack|
|Tyreek Hill´s lawyer issues in-depth denial of child-abuse claims|
|Jerry Jones: No reason why Dallas Cowboys won´t be better in 2019|
|´It felt like I got drafted twice´ - Rosen on Dolphins trade|
|Philadelphia Eagles exercise Wentz´s fifth-year option|
|Giants draft pick Corey Ballentine injured in shooting|
|NFL Draft 2019 trade roundup: Tracking all record 39 deals|
|UCLA´s Wilson takes ´Mr Irrelevant´ honours at NFL Draft|
|Patriots select quarterback Jarrett Stidham in fourth round|
|Riley Ridley & D´Andre Walker highlight potential NFL Draft day three steals|
|Winovich a steal for Pats, Broncos reach for Lock - Best & Worst picks of NFL Draft day two|
|Rosen finds new home in Miami as Metcalf, Lock slides end|
|Browns draft pick Williams immediately predicts Super Bowl appearance|
|Metcalf drafted by Seahawks at number 64 after fall from first round|
|Rosen traded to Dolphins after Cardinals draft Murray|
|Broncos trade up to get QB Lock after fall into second round|
|D.K. Metcalf & Greedy Williams among best available on NFL Draft day two|
|NFL ´done messed up´ letting Redskins pick Haskins|
|Jets pick Quinnen Williams targets Tom Brady|
|Early success a must for Murray to justify unnecessary Cardinals gamble|
|Ravens bring Hollywood to Baltimore, Giants reach for Jones - The best and worst picks of the NFL Dr|
|Five potential destinations for Josh Rosen after Cardinals pick Kyler Murray|
|Cardinals make Kyler Murray first pick as Giants spring Daniel Jones surprise|
|Cardinals´ Kyler Murray: I want to be best that ever played|
|Haskins falls to Redskins in NFL Draft|
|Bosa ´excited to go kick butt´ with 49ers|
|Baker Mayfield leads congratulations to top draft pick Kyler Murray|
|Giants take Eli Manning successor in Daniel Jones|
|New York Giants fan wins season tickets for 100 years|
|Chiefs star Mahomes graces Madden 20 cover|
|Nick Bosa goes second to 49ers in NFL Draft|
|Cardinals take Kyler Murray first overall in NFL Draft|
|This Week in US Sports: NHL playoffs putting NBA postseason to shame|
|Steelers sign Roethlisberger to two-year contract extension|
|Ravens make Tucker highest-paid kicker in NFL|
|Cowboys pick up Ezekiel Elliott´s fifth-year option|
|NFL Draft 2019: How does Kyler Murray compare to QBs taken first overall?|
|NFL Draft 2019: Five overrated prospects, starting with a first-round QB|
|NFL Draft 2019: Teams with most riding on outcome|
|NFL Draft 2019: Five best first-round fits|
|49ers kicker Gould trying to force trade|
|Rams pick up Goff´s fifth-year option|
|Seahawks reportedly send Frank Clark to Chiefs|
|NFL Draft 2019 Big Board: Murray & Bosa the top prospects|
|Cowboys´ Cooper describes relationship with Prescott|