News now! Late FG gives Patriots halftime lead

Posted by Mike Spofford on August 13, 2015 – 8:11 pm

150813-q2blog-650FOXBORO, Mass. — A 56-yard field goal by Patriots K Stephen Gostkowski on the final play of the first half gave New England an 11-9 halftime lead on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots needed just a few plays into the second quarter to take the lead. RB Jonas Gray ran through a big hole on the right side of the Packers’ defense and raced 55 yards for a touchdown. Gray then ran in the 2-point conversion, putting New England up 8-3 with 13:44 left in the half.

Packers backup QB Scott Tolzien looked to have the team on the move on his first series, but his third-down scramble for a first down was wiped out by a holding penalty on Don Barclay. An 18-yard pass to TE Richard Rodgers wasn’t enough to move the chains, and Green Bay punted.

The Packers’ defense got its first sack of the preseason on the next series. LBs Andy Mulumba and Jayrone Elliott combined on a third-down sack of QB Jimmy Garoppolo, with Mulumba getting the bulk of the credit. A few plays earlier, LB Adrian Hubbard was slow to get up, but he walked off under his own power.

The Packers got the lead back on a 26-yard TD pass from Tolzien to WR Jeff Janis on fourth-and-1. It was the fourth attempt to go for it on fourth down in the game for Green Bay’s offense, and the second conversion. TE Justin Perillo had two catches for 23 yards prior to the TD. A pass for WR Myles White on the 2-point try was incomplete, leaving the Packers ahead 9-8 with 5:11 left in the half.

Packers CB Quinten Rollins was tested and came up big, breaking up two straight passes for WR Josh Boyce, nearly picking off the second one, and forcing another New England punt. The Packers couldn’t take advantage, though, failing go convert on fourth down from midfield on a slant pass to Janis.

New England got the good field position but the Green Bay defense held up, forcing a long FG try. Rollins broke up another deep pass for Boyce, and DL Bruce Gaston was first in the backfield on a sack, leading to a 56-yard FG try by Gostkowski. It was good, giving New England an 11-9 halftime lead.

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