The New England Patriots‘ week four loss to the Green Bay Packers took nearly 70 minutes to decide. Could it serve as a moral victory for the team? Going into the matchup, the Patriots were 9.5 point underdogs, which is a huge total in the betting world.
Most of the NFL landscape likely predicted a multi-touchdown win for Green Bay, but perhaps this had the makings of a trap game. It’s clear that the Packers aren’t as explosive on offense as they were before, mainly because of the departure of Davante Adams, but they’re still the Packers.
Aaron Rodgers is coming off back to back MVP awards and is still arguably the best quarterback in football, and the Packers’ defense has absolute studs on all three levels. However, Sunday was quite the opposite of what most of us expected to happen.
The stat sheet was a bit in the Packers favor; they won the time of possession, outgained the Patriots, committed less penalties, had more first downs, were better on third down, and ran 13 more plays. With all of that said, it took them nearly 70 minutes of gameplan to take down an opponent on their third string quarterback.
The quarterback situation going forward is certainly for a different discussion, but all things considered, the Patriots played perhaps their best game of the season in the hardest environment they’ve faced so far.
Head coach Bill Belichick would never say it, but I don’t see how this can’t be a moral victory, and it’s hard to argue that the Patriots would have lost this game if either of Brian Hoyer or Mac Jones were playing. The defense made life a bit hard for Aaron Rodgers, and the offense was able to move the ball through the air and on the ground.
I think this is a game the Patriots can build on for the future.