Pats pull away from Packers

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Associated Press Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (12) scrambles Sunday night.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers spent the week telling anyone who asked that the other guy was the better quarterback.

In the second matchup between the future Hall of Famers, it was the one with five Super Bowl rings who walked off the field with the victory.

Brady threw for 294 yards and a touchdown, and James White ran for two scores to lead the New England Patriots to a 31-17 victory over Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.

It was the sixth straight victory for the Patriots (7-2).

"We made some plays in the fourth quarter when we needed to," Brady said. "Anytime you beat a good football team it feels good. So, 7-2 is a long ways from 1-2 where we were."

Rodgers completed 24 of 43 passes and two touchdowns but failed to rally his team after tying the game in the third quarter. Rodgers won the first matchup with Brady at Lambeau Field in 2014.

"If you play long enough, and you have the sustained greatness that Tom has had, there's going to be a lot of records," Rodgers said. "He's been the gold standard at quarterback for two decades."

It was 17-all late in the third quarter when Aaron Jones fumbled for Green Bay (3-4-1).

New England receiver Julian Edelman hit White on a 37-yard catch-and-run to set up White's second score, a 1-yard run. On the Patriots next possession, Brady connected with Josh Gordon for a 55-yard TD.

With tight end Rob Gronkowski out with a back and ankle injury and leading rusher Sony Michel out for the second straight week with a knee issue, Brady and the Patriots had to get creative.

They again turned to receiver Cordarrelle Patterson to help carry the load in the backfield. He rushed 11 times for 61 yards and a touchdown.

Rodgers was on target in the first half. He was elusive in the pocket and extended plays with his feet, keeping the Patriots' secondary off balance long enough to create space downfield or some big gains.

The longest was a 51-yard pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the third quarter that helped set up Rodgers' 15-yard TD pass to Jimmy Graham that tied the game at 17. But the pocket got smaller in the second half as the Patriots defense sped him up, hitting him six times and sacking him once.

Brady completed 16 of his first 22 passes but had six straight incompletions in the third quarter.

There wasn't a turnover in the game until Green Bay's Jones was stripped by Lawrence Guy early in the fourth quarter. The fumble was recovered by Stephon Gilmore on the Patriots' 24.

New England quickly capitalized, using four straight completions by Brady and a 37-yard pass from Julian Edelman to get to the Packers' 2. White scored from a yard out two plays later to put the Patriots back in front 24-17.

The Patriots' defense tightened on Green Bay's next drive. It culminated on third down when Adrian Clayborn and Trey Flowers dropped Rodgers for a 9-yard sack and forcing a punt.

On just the third play of the ensuing drive Brady found Gordon over the middle. Packers cornerback Tramon Williams had a shot at a tackle, but whiffed, springing Gordon for his 55-yard touchdown.

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