FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -- Dan Connolly rumbled 71 yards with what is believed to be the longest kickoff return by an offensive lineman in NFL history, and Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes as the New England Patriots edged the Green Bay Packers 31-27 for their sixth straight win Sunday night.
The Patriots, who had outscored their previous two opponents 81-10, had their hands full even with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers missing the game with a concussion. Matt Flynn threw his first three pro touchdown passes in his place.
The game went down to the final play when Flynn, with the ball at the Patriots 15-yard line, lost it and Vince Wilfork recovered for New England (12-2). Green Bay (8-6) trails Chicago (9-4) by 1 1/2 games in the NFC North.
The return by the 313-pound Connolly set up Brady's 2-yard scoring pass to Aaron Hernandez, cutting Green Bay's lead at halftime to 17-14.
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