Aaron Rodgers threw the 500th career touchdown pass (regular season and postseason included) and the Green Bay Packers defeated the New England Patriots 27-24 in overtime.
Mason Crosby made a 31-yard field goal on the last play of overtime to give the Packers the 3-1 win, spoiling rookie quarterback Bailey Zappe’s NFL debut.
« In the end, Rodgers was just too good, » Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. He made throws that only Rodgers could do. …I think Bailey did well. »
Zappe, a fourth-round pick of the Patriots (1-3) in 2022, played the majority of the game after Brian Hoyer left with a head injury. Hoyer made his first start since 2020 as a replacement for Mac Jones, who injured his left ankle in a 37-26 loss to the Baltimore Ravens last week.
« It was exciting at first, a dream come true to play in an NFL game, » Zappe said. This is obviously not at all the result we wanted. »
Zappe met Rodgers on the field after the match.
He simply said to me: “Good luck for the future”, and I said the same thing to him. He said, “Congratulations on your first game, and that’s it. »
The Patriots and Zappe did just enough to force overtime against the Packers, who had a strong second half after a terrible first half.
Rodgers completed just four of 11 first-half pass attempts for a lackluster 44 yards. He also ended the half with an interception in the hands of Jack Jones, who returned Rodgers’ gift for 40 yards for the touchdown.
The veteran Packers quarterback upped his game to bring Green Bay back forward. Rodgers joined Robert Tonyan in the end zone to make it 14-10 Packers. Zappe’s first NFL touchdown pass to DeVante Parker, however, put the Pats back in front.
Trailing by seven in the fourth quarter, Rodgers took matters into his own hands. He found Romeo Doubs in the end zone to collect his 500th career touchdown pass. He becomes the fifth quarterback in history to reach this milestone, after Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady.
Kyler Murray has the upper hand over Baker Mayfield
In a battle of first draft picks, Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals (2-2) edged Baker Mayfield and the Carolina Panthers (1-3) 26-16.
Murray threw touchdown passes to Marquise Brown and Zach Ertz, in addition to scoring a rushing touchdown. Brown was the Cards’ most productive receiver with 88 yards.
Cardinals 26 – Panthers 16
Frankie Luvu put the Panthers ahead in the second quarter by intercepting Murray’s pass. He brought the ball back 33 yards for the middle finger.
The Panthers, however, were unable to build on the good play of their defensive unit and Mayfield’s difficult start may explain the team’s setbacks. Mayfield suffered three turnovers, two interceptions and a fumble.
A questionable case before the match due to a leg injury, Christian McCaffrey was finally in the game. The running back didn’t have much success on the ground (8 carries, 27 yards), but he was effective as a pass receiver. McCaffrey caught nine balls for 81 yards and a touchdown.
Finally a victory for the Raiders
The Raiders defense returned a Melvin Gordon fumble 68 yards for the touchdown and Josh Jacobs made sure they didn’t make the same mistake and the Raiders posted a first win of the season 32-23 over the Denver Broncos.
Jacobs finished his day with 143 yards rushing, 31 through the air, and two touchdowns. In the Broncos’ camp, Javonte Williams was forced out of the game with a knee injury. Coming out of the game, Williams was in his worst game of the season with 28 yards on 10 carries. Gordon did even worse with eight yards on three carries in addition to his costly fumble. He hardly saw the field again after his blunder, even in the absence of Williams. Mike Boone took over in the backfield.
Russell Wilson had a good game with two touchdown passes and 237 yards through the air. He led the Broncos on the ground with 29 yards on four carries. Derek Carr was also effective with his legs, amassing 40 yards on seven carries including an important first play on the Raiders’ last offensive streak that ended with Jacobs’ second touchdown.
With his arm, Carr had 188 yards on 21 completions on 34 passes attempted. Star receiver Davante Adams caught nine fly balls for 101 yards.
The Broncos (2-2) are now joined by the Los Angeles Chargers (2-2) in second place in the American West Division. The Kansas City Chiefs (3-1) alone occupy the throne thanks to their win over the Buccaneers on Sunday night.