GREEN BAY, Wis. (WPRI) — Mason Crosby made a 31-yard field goal as time expired in overtime, and the Green Bay Packers topped the New England Patriots 27-24 on Sunday, spoiling rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe’s NFL debut.
Zappe, a fourth-round pick from Western Kentucky, played the majority of the game after Brian Hoyer left with a head injury. Hoyer made his first start since 2020 in place of Mac Jones, who injured his left ankle during last weekend’s 37-26 loss to Baltimore.
Hoyer led New England to Nick Folk’s 37-yard field goal on the game’s opening drive, but he got sacked by Rashan Gary on the team’s next series and departed.
Zappe and the Patriots (1-3) still played well enough to force overtime, but Aaron Rodgers bounced back from a dreadful first half to continue his recent home mastery of AFC teams. The Packers (3-1) are 18-1 in the last 19 home games Rodgers has started against AFC foes.
After the Packers went three-and-out on the opening possession of overtime, Marcus Jones’ 20-yard punt return gave New England the ball at its 49-yard line. But the Patriots also went three-and-out.
The Packers then marched 77 yards in a 12-play drive that lasted nearly seven minutes before Crosby made his winning kick.
Green Bay had tied the game at 24 on Rodgers’ 13-yard touchdown pass to rookie Romeo Doubs with 6:14 remaining. They nearly connected again in the closing minutes of regulation.
With the Packers facing third-and-8 from the New England 40, Rodgers threw deep to a diving Doubs in the right corner of the end zone. Dobbs got past Jonathan Jones and caught the pass, but the ball slipped out of his hands after he landed.
Rodgers went 4 of 11 for 44 yards for an 11.2 passer rating in the first half, the worst rating the four-time MVP had ever recorded for any half in his 18-year career, according to ESPN Stats & Info. That included a New England touchdown on Jack Jones’ 40-yard interception return, which lifted the Patriots to a 10-7 halftime lead.
It was Rodgers’ first pick-6 since Tampa Bay’s Jamel Dean scored on a 32-yard interception return in the Buccaneers’ 38-10 victory over the Packers on Oct. 18, 2020.
Rodgers rebounded after halftime and ended up going 21 of 35 for 251 yards with touchdown passes to Doubs and Robert Tonyan for the tight end’s first score since tearing an anterior cruciate ligament last season. Aaron Jones rushed for 110 yards to lead Green Bay’s 188-yard attack on the ground.
Zappe was 10 of 15 for 99 yards, including a 25-yard touchdown pass to DeVante Parker. The ball appeared to get snapped after the play clock had expired on Parker’s touchdown, but no penalty was called.
New England’s Damien Harris rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Rhamondre Stevenson ran 14 times for 66 yards.
Packers S Adrian Amos left in the first quarter with a head injury. Patriots TE Jonnu Smith left with an ankle injury.
The Patriots played without DT Lawrence Guy (shoulder), CB Jalen Mills (hamstring) and WR Jakobi Meyers (knee). The Packers were missing CB Jaire Alexander (groin).
Patriots: Host the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Packers: Play an international regular-season game for the first time in franchise history when they face the New York Giants on Sunday at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
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