NBC devoted an entire segment to numerology and the number "12," which seems like a little much.
However, the battle of the G.O.A.Ts that had analysts and fans salivating in the lead-up to Sunday night's game didn't really materialize.
At least, not in the way we'd all envisioned.
Brady's New England Patriots, down star tight end Rob Gronkowski, showed off some impressive sleight of hand, while Rodgers flashed some of his usual magic in the second half.
However, the quarterback heroics were minimal.
Brady threw for 294 yards and a touchdown, fooling the Packers' young secondary with a 55-yard touchdown pass to Josh Gordon on a fake screen in the fourth quarter.
Rodgers managed 259 yards and two touchdowns, but a Packers fumble foiled his usual heroics.
In the end, it was Brady and the Patriots making magic with the game on the line, topping the Packers 31-17 and dealing Green Bay another setback in a tightly-contested division. (Story | Photos)
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Marquez Valdes-Scantling provided some much-needed consistency on an odd night for the Packers' offense. The rookie went over 100 receiving yards for the first time in his career, hauling in some of Rodgers' biggest passes of the evening and finishing with three receptions for 101 yards on six targets.
Rodgers finally appeared to be finding a rhythm in the second half quarter, hitting Valdes-Scantling on consecutive passes of 20-plus yards, but an Aaron Jones fumble brought it all to a screeching halt.
The Patriots scored on the ensuing possession.
DON'T FORGET ABOUT ME
The fumble was costly, but it probably isn't going to silence Aaron Jones fans, who've been clamoring for McCarthy to unleash the second-year back instead of sticking with a committee. Jones was the Packers' most effective runner once again, averaging 5.4 yards per carry. It didn't deter head coach Mike McCarthy, who stuck with Jones to the tune of 14 carries and 76 yards. Jamaal Williams had seven carries for just 34 yards.
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Still, that fumble was a killer. The Packers had forced a turnover and a punt on the last two Patriots possessions, and were pushing into New England territory with the game tied. Jones' fumble undid it all though, setting up a 10-play, 76-yard Patriots touchdown drive. The Packers didn't cross midfield again.
The entire game swung on the fumble, but Jones had previously been pretty adept at hanging on to the ball. Jones had never lost a fumble prior to Sunday's game, and had gone 153 touches and 18 games without losing one.
THEY SAID IT
"[The fumble] was obviously a big play in the game. That was a turning point." -- McCarthy
"Jonesy's had a really nice year for us, so that one play obviously doesn't lose the game, but it's plays like that, by all of us, myself included, that have just hindered us from finishing games out." -- Rodgers
"We're hurting ourselves with negative yardage plays and missed throws and turnovers at the wrong time." -- Rodgers
The Vikings and Bears held serve atop the NFC North, while the Packers fell to two games back. They can gain some ground next Sunday against the listless Miami Dolphins, but with the Seahawks and Vikings on tap after that, the outlook is starting to look a little bleak.