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NFL notes: After win, Green Bay new leader of the pack

Associated Press

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers not only ended the New England Patriots’ seven-game winning streak, they also replaced them as the top team in the NFL.

The Packers beat the Patriots 26-21 on Sunday in a matchup of two of the NFL’s best.

“Chapter 1 of the long-awaited Aaron Rodgers-Tom Brady duel goes to Rodgers in a thriller at Lambeau,” Newsday’s Bob Glauber said.

“Can’t help but think there could be a rematch Feb. 1 in Phoenix (at the Super Bowl).”

The Packers (9-3) received 11 of 12 first-place votes Tuesday in the AP Pro32 power rankings, which are decided by a media panel that regularly covers the league.

“Facing Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau just doesn’t seem fair to opposing defenses,” Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune said.

The Patriots (9-3) got the other first-place vote. New England will look for its 10th win with another tough road game, facing the San Diego Chargers on Sunday night.

“Last Sunday’s close loss to Green Bay did nothing to hurt New England’s standing as the AFC’s best team,” Foxsports.com’s Alex Marvez said.

The Chargers (8-4) jumped from No. 17 to 11 after rallying past the Baltimore Ravens 34-33 on Sunday.

The Denver Broncos (9-3) stayed at No. 3 after beating the Kansas City Chiefs 29-16 on Sunday night.

The Philadelphia Eagles (9-3) and the Seattle Seahawks (8-4) moved to Nos. 4 and 5. Seattle climbed from No. 7 after its 19-3 win over the 49ers.

Around the league

Ray Rice says that an NFL team “would have to be willing to look deeper into who I am and realize that me and my wife had one bad night.” The former Ravens running back told NBC’s “Today” show Tuesday “the only thing I can hope for and wish for is a second chance.” … Adrian Pet erson did not testify at his appeal hearing. Peterson is seeking reinstatement after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him for the rest of the season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. Peterson will not be considered for reinstatement before April 15. … Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu will undergo surgery on his fractured left thumb today and could be sidelined until the team’s regular-season finale.

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