- Associated Press - Monday, December 1, 2014

If Patriots-Packers - aka Brady vs. Rodgers I - really WAS a Super Bowl preview, as so many suggested, then it will be definitely be worth watching what happens on Feb. 1 in Glendale, Arizona.

Green Bay’s 26-21 victory over visiting New England was a taut, well-played game, featuring just the right amount of defense and a couple of MVP contenders at quarterback who had never faced each other as starters. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady combined to go 46 of 73 for 613 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Rodgers extended one particularly remarkable streak: He hasn’t thrown an interception at home in two years.

His Packers have won four consecutive games and eight of nine to pull even with Arizona and Philadelphia at 9-3 atop the NFC.

“They’re good. They’re really good,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said, in what counts as loquaciousness for him.

There’s a realistic chance Green Bay could win out, because the rest of its schedule includes Atlanta and Detroit at Lambeau Field, and Buffalo and Tampa Bay on the road.

The Patriots, meanwhile, had their seven-game winning streak end, but they also are 9-3, and remain atop the AFC.

Very few folks would be surprised if these two teams - and these two QBs - are sharing a field again in two months.

In case you missed it, here are the other top topics after the NFL season’s 13th Sunday:

HEEEEEERE’S JOHNNY: Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel got his first chance to play for the Browns since Week 3, scored his first NFL TD on a 10-yard run, and flashed his famous - infamous? - money sign in the end zone.

Now what everyone wants to know is whether Johnny Football or the guy he replaced in the fourth quarter of Cleveland’s 26-10 loss at Buffalo, Brian Hoyer, will start at quarterback next week at home against the Colts.

Hoyer, lifted after throwing two interceptions, spoke about the Browns as “my team,” but it’s possible Manziel will now get a long look.

“If that is the case, and my name is called,” Manziel said, “I definitely will be ready.”

COUGHLIN’S UPSET: If ever a two-time Super Bowl champion coach were going to lose his job, this is how. Tom Coughlin’s tenure with the Giants hit a new low when New York blew a 21-point lead against a bad Jaguars team and lost 25-24.

“I’m upset with everything,” Coughlin said after a seventh consecutive loss dropped his club to 3-9. “And I’m upset with me.”

COLLAPSING CARDINALS: So much for Arizona running away with the NFC West. And so much for the team being just fine with Drew Stanton at quarterback in place of the injured Carson Palmer.

The Cardinals have lost two in a row - this time, 29-18 at Atlanta - and their division lead over Seattle is down to one game.

With Palmer done for the season, and receiver Larry Fitzgerald out the past two weeks with a left knee injury, the Cardinals’ offense has produced a grand total of one touchdown over 2 1/2 games.

HANDS UP, DON’T SHOOT: Five players from the St. Louis Rams showed solidarity with protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, by standing with hands raised before heading out during pregame introductions against visiting Oakland.

Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt came out together first, followed by Jared Cook, Stedman Bailey and Chris Givens. After Tre Mason scored in the fourth quarter, he and Britt raised their hands together.

Some witnesses said teenager Michael Brown had his hands up before being fatally shot in Ferguson by police officer Darren Wilson in August. A grand jury decided last week not to indict Wilson.

“I don’t want the people in the community to feel like we turned a blind eye to it,” Britt said. “What would I like to see happen? Change in America.”

Across the street from the Rams’ stadium, about 75 protesters gathered in the second half, with some chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot!”

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Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/AP_NFL


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