It’s time for Packers football! Green Bay to face New England Patriots in pre-season matchup

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Green Bay Packers

MASSACHUSETTS — It’s that time again — time for Green Bay Packers football! The Packers’ 2015 season officially kicks off on Thursday, August 13th. The Packers will take on the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Thursday’s game marks the fourth time in the last five years the Packers will kick off their pre-season schedule away from Lambeau Field.

It will be the Packers’ first visit to New England for a pre-season game since 1993. The two teams first met in the preseason in 1975 at Green Bay (Milwaukee).

The teams last met in the pre-season at Lambeau Field in 2005. The Packers won, 27-3.

In that last pre-season meeting in 2005 (on August 26th), Packers’ QB Brett Favre completed nine of 21 pass attempts for 69 yards. Aaron Rodgers completed five of nine passes for 52 yards and one interception.

Patriots’ QB Tom Brady passed for 127 yards and one touchdown on 12-of-21 passing.

The Patriots hold a 7-6 advantage in pre-season matchups between these teams. This will mark the first preseason contest against the Patriots under the Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers era.

Including the preseason, regular season and postseason, Green Bay and New England have met a total of 24 times, and each team has recorded 12 wins.

The teams met last season in Week 13 (on November 30th, 2014). It was the first Packers vs. Patriots game featuring QB Aaron Rodgers and QB Tom Brady as starters.

Speaking of Tom Brady — the Patriots’ QB made headlines during the off-season due to the “Deflategate controversy.” The NFL has suspended Brady for four games during this upcoming 2015 season in the controversy that erupted after the Patriots won the AFC championship game vs. the Indianapolis Colts.

The thrust of the accusations is that the team knowingly used under-inflated footballs for a competitive advantage. Brady, who led the team to a Super Bowl victory, has denied involvement over and over.

But NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in late July upheld Brady’s suspension — saying new information showed Brady tried to hide evidence by breaking his cell phone.

The NFL had asked to see the phone’s text messages but lacked subpoena power to force Brady to comply. Now, the text messages are gone and cannot be retrieved, according to a letter from the football star’s cell phone provider.

In a post on Facebook, Brady said that “I did nothing wrong, and no one in the Patriots organization did either.”
“To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong,” he said in the verified Facebook posting.

He added that he replaced his broken Samsung phone with a new iPhone 6 after his attorneys told the NFL “my actual phone device” would not be investigated. His representatives turned over requested cell phone records and emails, Brady said, and tried to obtain text messages from his old phone.

The phone company information showed who received and sent text messages, but not what the texts said.

Brady said that as a union member, he didn’t want to set a precedent by handing over his phone. He said investigators never told him that failing to provide the phone would result in any discipline.

“Most importantly, I have never written, texted, emailed to anybody at anytime, anything related to football air pressure before this issue was raised at the AFC Championship game in January,” he said. “There is no ‘smoking gun’ and this controversy is manufactured to distract from the fact they have zero evidence of wrongdoing.”

The Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots are the only teams in the NFL to make the playoffs each of the last six years. Additionally, the Packers and Patriots own the two best records in the NFL against division opponents during the regular season.

Thursday’s pre-season matchup may provide fans with an opportunity to meet the Packers’ rookies — the eight players added during this year’s NFL Draft. They are:

  • Damarious Randall – cornerback from Arizona State, picked in the first round
  • Quinten Rollins – cornerback out of Miami, picked in the second round
  • Ty Montgomery – wide receiver from Stanford, picked in the third round
  • Jake Ryan – linebacker from the University of Michigan, picked in the fourth round
  • Brett Hundley – quarterback from UCLA, picked when Green Bay moved up in the fifth round in exchange for their fifth-and-seven-round selections
  • Aaron Ripkowski – fullback out of Oklahoma, picked with the first of three sixth-round picks
  • Christian Ringo – defensive tackle out of Louisiana-Lafayette, picked with the second selection in the sixth round – the first of two compensatory picks
  • Kennard Backman – tight end out of the University of Alabama-Birmingham, picked with the final selection in the sixth round

Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy is in his 10th year as head coach — while New England Head Coach Bill Belichick is in his 16th year as Patriots head coach.

These coaches are 2-1 head-to-head.

Belichick is the only head coach in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in a three-year span.

McCarthy has led the Packers to six consecutive playoff appearances. The Patriots are the only other team in the NFL to accomplish that feat.

After taking on the Patriots, the Packers’ next pre-season contest comes on Sunday, August 23rd at noon, when they head to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers and Heinz Field.

CLICK HERE for much more on the Packers vs. Patriots pre-season matchup Thursday via Packers.com.