The Packers piled up 478 yards, 368 of those yards from the right arm of Aaron Rodgers as the Packers jumped out early and then asked their defense to hold off Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the end.
The Packers were hoping to add-on just before the half, but most were thinking about getting into position for a late field goal. Not many expected Aaron Rodgers to find Jordy Nelson on a slant play that ended up going for a 45-yard touchdown reception with 14-seconds left in the half.
The Packers took a 23-14 lead into halftime and would score just three more points in the second half. The defense did the rest.
The defense has had stops in the fourth quarter before, but none against a team like New England.
The Patriots had a chance too. Tom Brady led New England down the field in the fourth quarter but tight end Rob Gronkowski couldn’t come up with a pass in the end zone on second down. Then Brady was sacked on 3rd and 9, Green Bay’s only sack of the game, to force a field goal try, which the Patriots missed.
Green Bay then needed to pick up only one first down and they did. A third down pass play from Rodgers to Randall Cobb sealed the victory.
Nelson’s touchdown reception was his 10th of the season, tying him with teammate Randall Cobb. They became the first duo in Packers history to do so.
Aaron Rodgers also extended a pair of records. He’s now gone 360 pass attempts at home without an interception. He’s also thrown 31 consecutive touchdowns at home without an interception. Both are NFL records.
The Packers made a change defensively, replacing A.J. Hawk at inside linebacker in nickel and dime formations. Mike McCarthy instead went with Sam Barrington. He finished with five tackles but brought a physical presence in the middle that had been missing.
The Packers went into the game concerned about matching up with Rob Gronkowski. The Patriots tight end caught seven passes for 98 yards but the Packers didn’t let him hit the end zone.
The Packers got out in front and the Patriots were playing catchup from the beginning. Green Bay dominated the time of possession, 36:35 to 23:25.
About the only negative for the Packers was their going 0 for 4 in the red zone. Mason Crosby hit four of five field goal attempts and the defense did the rest.
With four games left, the Packers moved into a tie with Arizona for the best record in the NFC. The Cardinals hold the top spot based on tie-breakers. Arizona started the day with a full 1-game lead, but they lost to Atlanta 29-18. The Falcons (5-7) lead the NFC South and will face the Packers at Lambeau Field next Monday night.
The Lions (8-4) are a game behind the Packers in the NFC North, but they beat the Packers back in September and it could come down to the last game against the Packers on Dec. 28th at Lambeau Field for the Division title.