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Dublin: 7°C Thursday 25 February 2021

Brady and Patriots outduel Rodgers, Saints hand Rams first loss

It was only the second time ever that Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers faced off.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, left, and New England Patriots QB Tom Brady speak at midfield.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, left, and New England Patriots QB Tom Brady speak at midfield.
Image: Charles Krupa

TOM BRADY THREW for 294 yards and a touchdown as the New England Patriots won their sixth straight NFL game with a convincing 31-17 victory over Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

Brady earned bragging rights over Rodgers after winning one of the most anticipated prime-time duels between two quarterbacks who have won five NFL most valuable player awards between them. 

“We fought pretty hard. We played pretty good in the fourth quarter,” said Brady. “Our defense made so many plays, they did a great job. I am glad they kept them off the field at the end.

“Our defense was on their receivers so tight. It is hard to make perfect throws every single time. Our defense made him (Rodgers) do it. He made some great plays. It is great to see him playing so well.”

Rodgers completed 24 of 43 passes and two touchdowns in his second career match-up against Brady. 

Rodgers guided Green Bay to a 26-21 win at New England in November 2014 in the only previous meeting between the star quarterbacks who many feel are the greatest of their era at the position.

James White rushed for two touchdowns for the host Patriots, who improved to 7-2 on the season.

The turning point came late in the third quarter when Green Bay’s Aaron Jones fumbled with the score tied 17-17.

New England receiver Julian Edelman then hit White on a 37-yard catch-and-run to set up White’s second score, a one-yard run. 

On the Patriots’ next possession, Brady connected on a 55 yard touchdown with Josh Gordon to seize command of the game. Gordon finished with 115 yards on four catches.

- Rams suffer first defeat - 

The Patriots were playing without all star tight end Rob Gronkowski who was out with an ankle injury. Running back Sony Michel also missed the game with a knee problem.

Elsewhere, the New Orleans Saints handed the Los Angeles Rams their first defeat of the season, thwarting the Rams’ second-half rally in a 45-35 triumph in the Superdome.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw four touchdowns, connecting with Michael Thomas for a 72-yard TD with less than four minutes remaining that put New Orleans up 45-35.

It was the Saints’ first touchdown of the second half, and came after the Rams had roared back from 21 points down to knot the score at 35-35 early in the fourth quarter.

On the ensuing Los Angeles drive, Rams quarterback Jared Goff threw three straight incompletions and the Saints got the ball back, eventually converting a fourth-and-one play that sealed the win.

Overall Goff connected on 28-of-40 passing attempts for 391 yards and three touchdowns. But his first-half interception helped set up one of five Saints touchdowns before halftime.

It was 35-17 at the break. After the Rams tied things up on Goff’s 41-yard scoring pass to Cooper Kupp and a two-point conversion, the Saints took a 38-35 lead on Wil Lutz’s 45-yard field goal with 6:23 to play.

Patrick Mahomes, the Kansas City Chiefs’ star second-year quarterback, enjoyed another big day, tying Andrew Luck’s NFL record by throwing for 300 yards for the eighth straight game in a single season as the Chiefs beat the Browns in Cleveland 37-21.

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Mahomes completed 23-of-32 passes for 375 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, and the Kansas City offense was right there with him.

Kareem Hunt ran for two touchdowns and caught a TD pass as the Chiefs improved to 8-1.

The Browns, playing their first game since head coach Hue Jackson was sacked, were down 37-21 in the final five minutes when quarterback Baker Mayfield threw an interception — quashing any hopes they harbored of a comeback.

Week 9 NFL scores

Thursday’s game

San Francisco 49ers 34, Oakland Raiders 3

Sunday’s games

Atlanta Falcons 38, Washington Redskins 14
Minnesota Vikings 24, Detroit Lions 9
Pittsburgh Steelers 23, Baltimore Ravens 16
Kansas City Chiefs 37, Cleveland Browns 21
Dolphins 13, New York Jets 6
Chicago Bears 41, Buffalo Bills 9
Carolina Panthers 42, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28
Los Angeles Chargers 25, Seattle Seahawks 17
Houston Texans 19, Denver Broncos 17
New Orleans Saints 45, Los Angeles Rams 35

© AFP 2018 

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