In a game that was billed as a "potential" super bowl preview, yesterday's game won by the Packers 26-21, more than lived up to the hype. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady proved why the are of elite status, as both possessed the ability and poise that hall-of-famers are made of. Rodgers went 24-38 for 368 yards and a pair of touchdowns. while his counterpart was 22-35 for 245 and 2 scores. But it was more than that.
Special players understand the moment, the pedestal they are placed upon. Brady has been there countless times, and has succeeded more than he has failed. Rodgers has tasted glory as well, but has not seen a stage like yesterday's in a while. In a game that had a much pub as a championship game, Rodgers shined the most. The Green Bay offense behind his pinpoint passing had the Patriot defense playing on their heels from the onset. The Packers ran up 378 yards of offense in the first half and when Rodgers hit Jordy Nelson on a 45 yard scoring toss with 14 seconds left in the half, the Pack led 23-14. But it seemed like a lot more. Mason Crosby converted three first half field goals off stalled Green Bay drives, all ending within the New England 30 yard line. It very well could have been a blowout early. Both defenses seemed to bend a lot more than break in the second half making important plays. The most important one by the home team with the game on the line.
With Green Bay leading by five with under 3 minutes left, defensive tackles Mike Neal and Mark Daniels combined to sack Brady for a nine yard loss, their only one of the game, and the usually dependable Stephen Gostkowski missed on a 47 yard field goal attempt with 2:40 left. In effect that was New England's last gasp as Rodgers and company got a critical first down on a nifty reception on a third down pass by Randall Cobb.
Eddie Lacy was stout in the backfield with a gritty 21 carries for 98 yards. On the flip side, against a defense ranked 30th against the run, the Pats had only 18 attempts, gaining 84 yards, averaging 4.7 yards per. That's something that may change if the two teams were to meet in Arizona in February.
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