Packers vs. Patriots score, takeaways: Aaron Rodgers leads game-wining drive to down New England in overtime

The Packers are now 3-1 on the season thanks to a 31-yard field goal hit by Mason Crosby to lift Green Bay over the Patriots in overtime, 27-24. After both teams were forced to punt to begin the extra period, Aaron Rodgers led the offense 77 yards down the field to set up the game-winning kick and completed all four of his passes in the process while A.J. Dillon helped burn clock and move the Packers all the way to the New England 13-yard line for the chip-shot game-winner.

This game had many twists and turns, including the Patriots being forced to use third-string rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe. With Mac Jones (ankle) sidelined, veteran Brian Hoyer got the start, but was knocked out of the game in the first quarter due to head injury. That thrust Zappe into action and the former fourth-round pick did play well considering the circumstance. He completed 10 of his 15 passes for 99 yards and connecting with DeVante Parker for a touchdown to begin the second half for New England. That said, the defense and the running is what kept the Patriots in the game despite losing Hoyer. As a club, they rushed for 167 yards. The defense largely kept Rodgers in check and rookie corner Jack Jones even recorded a pick-six off the back-to-back MVP. 

However, they couldn't fend them off for the entire night thanks to strong showings by running back Aaron Jones (rushed for 110 yards on 6.9 yards per carry) and wideout Allen Lazard (116 receiving yards on six catches). Rodgers finished 21 of 35 for 251 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. 

For a more detailed breakdown of how this game unfolded, check out our takeaways below.

Why the Packers won

It was a bit of a weird start for Green Bay offensively, particularly with Rodgers. Heading into the locker room at halftime, Rodgers completed just four passes and seemed a bit out of sync with his receivers. He also tossed an uncharacteristic pick-six which allowed New England to head into the break with a 10-7 lead.

However, he turned it on in the second half, throwing two touchdowns and leading the offense on three consecutive scoring drives that totaled 17 points and brought them back even with the Patriots. On the game-winning drive in overtime, he was especially sharp completing all four of his passes to help move the offense 77 yards down the field to get into Crosby's range. 

Defensively, they also were able to shut down the Patriots offense during the final drives of regulation and in overtime. From the 6:14 mark of the fourth quarter, Green Bay forced three-and-outs on all three New England drives and Bill Belichick's team traveled just 15 total yards over that stretch.

Why the Patriots lost

Of course, it's going to be hard to win when you're playing a third-string quarterback, but Zappe largely played well after coming in under duress. However, the play-calling down the stretch does seem like it was clearly impacted by who the Patriot shad under center. After their touchdown drive at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the offense went completely silent and Zappe attempted just two passes. In the overtime period, New England also had the ball at the Green Bay 46-yard line and faced a fourth-and-5 situation. Instead of going for it and keeping the drive alive, Belichick elected to punt the ball away. Again, it's a tough call to make when you have a rookie third-string quarterback at the helm, but that felt like the coaching staff was playing scared. 

On the ensuing drive, there was also the curious decision to have New England's corners play off coverage, which gave Packers pass-catchers a ton of space out wide, which Rodgers exploited on multiple occasions as he was leading the offense to a game-winning field goal. 

Turning point

For a minute, it looked like the Patriots may hold the Packers on what proved to be their game-winning drive. Facing a third-and-1, Green Bay had Rodgers in play-action and the quarterback flicked an 11-yard pass to Randall Cobb to move the chains. Considering how well they'd been running the ball, this was a bit of a risky play call, but the Packers remained aggressive with Rodgers throwing to more times on the drive before Dillon barreled his way down the field, killed clock and helped set up the game-winning kick by Crosby. 

With this win, Rodgers is now 4-8-1 in his career in games that go to overtime (including playoffs). 

Play of the game

Not only did Rodgers get the win, but the future Hall of Fame quarterback made some history as well. In the fourth quarter, he completed a 13-yard pass to Romeo Doubs for the touchdown. On top of that score knotting the game at 24 apiece, it was also the 500th touchdown of Rodgers' career (including playoffs). 

He is just the fifth player to in NFL history with at least 500 touchdown passes and is the fastest player to reach the milestone. Rodgers got to 500 in just 239 games. Saints legend Drew Brees was the second fastest, getting there in 250 games. 

What's next

From here, the Packers will head across the pond to take on the New York Giants in London. As for the Patriots, they'll travel back to Foxborough and await a Week 5 matchup with the Detroit Lions at Gillette Stadium. 

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Matt Judon owned his matchup against Jenkins and applied pressure on Rodgers. Somehow he was able to keep himself upright long enough to throw the ball away, which saved about 13 yards. 

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Aaron Rodgers is 3-8-1 in his career in games that go to overtime (including playoffs)

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Nugget: Bailey Zappe is the first player to ever make his NFL debut as a visitor at Lambeau Field and throw a TD pass in that game (Lambeau opened in 1957)

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And we're heading to overtime. Little curious to see Rodgers and the Packers offense opt for a short school-yard play in the final seconds instead of a hail mary. 

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Massive punt coming up here for Jake Bailey. If you pin the Packers back far enough, this could be heading to overtime. 

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Perfect ball by Rodgers but Doubs can't survive the ground and the would-be touchdown is ruled incomplete. 

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That's a rookie mistake there by Zappe. Nothing is there in coverage and that's when you have to throw it away or dump it off to Harris. 

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Bailey Zappe has shown some great poise. Not easy for a third-stringer to be thrust into a game against Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau Field and he's making some nice throws. 

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Little chess game between Aaron Rodgers and Bill Belichick before the field goal. Rodgers was trying to get New England to go offsides, saw that he could get them for too many men, and snapped the ball. Belichick realized that and called a timeout to avoid the penalty. 

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As the broadcast notes, Bailey Zappe is the first rookie quarterback to throw a touchdown pass this season. 

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The Patriots got a gift from the officials. New England should have been flagged for a delay of game penalty and it never came. Instead, Zappe hits Parker for the 25-yard touchdown to go up 17-14. 

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Marcus Cannon is in at right tackle to begin the second half. Isaiah Wynn out. 

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Nice ball by Rodgers on the touchdown to Tonyan. Packers retake the 14-10 lead on what was their best offensive drive of the afternoon. 

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Really impressive catch there by Lazard. Felt like it was a really tight window and was able to extend to make the grab. He's looked good since missing the start of the season. 

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Aaron Rodgers: 2nd home pick-six of career in 104 home starts (also 2017 vs CIN)

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Patriots say that Jonnu Smith is questionable to return with an ankle injury. 

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Aaron Rodgers has dropped back just eight times and has completed three passes today. 

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Smith is now limping to the locker room. 

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Injuries keep plaguing the Patriots. Jonnu Smith limped off on that last drive and went into the medical tent. Hunter Henry is the only other TE on the roster. 

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Felt like Watson had a step on his defender. Rodgers looked his way, but the ball sort of sailed to the sideline. Once they get their timing, this duo will be good for at least one chunk play a game. 

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Watched Zappe a ton during camp. He has a pretty powerful arm, but he did struggle with some of his touch passes out in the flat and shorter routes. Something to watch as he takes over with Hoyer out. 

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