FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – The Patriots first two-game losing streak in four years was too much to take. So they capped an especially tough string of practices with an easy win over the Packers.

“Everybody was focused in,” center Dan Koppen said. “We were really prepared for these guys.”

New England had something else on its side. It was playing on the road.

The Patriots matched their team record of seven consecutive road wins, the last four by 22 points or more. The latest, Sunday’s 35-0 rout of Green Bay, was their first shutout on the road in 20 years.

“Sometimes you take the mentality of me against the world,” defensive end Richard Seymour said. “If you are going to do it, it is going to be these guys in the locker room. We had a lot of fans in the stands today. I saw a lot of Patriots’ jerseys running around. We definitely give credit to the fans.”

If fans were that important, the Patriots wouldn’t be 2-3 at home and 5-0 on the road.

Maybe it was their beat-up grass field at Gillette Stadium that hurt. That’s gone now, being replaced by synthetic FieldTurf which will be ready for the next home game Sunday.

And that certainly won’t be enough either, not when the opponent is the Chicago Bears, who are 9-1 and have allowed an NFL low 120 points. The Bears also recorded a shutout Sunday, 10-0 over a New York Jets team that won at Gillette Stadium 17-14 a week earlier, ending the Patriots streak of 57 games without back-to-back losses.

For a while, though, the Patriots could enjoy Sunday’s victory.

On offense, Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes and Laurence Maroney ran 82 yards and caught four passes, one for a touchdown. On defense, the Patriots held the Packers to 120 yards and five first downs. On special teams, Kevin Faulk returned a punt 36 yards to set up the last touchdown.

“It was good to get back on track,” Seymour said. “We came out with a lot of energy and we had a lot of fun. We put it all together.”

The performance of the defense got rave reviews even though starting defensive backs Rodney Harrison, Eugene Wilson and Asante Samuel were sidelined.

Green Bay’s longest series covered just 26 yards. It punted on 10 of its 13 possessions. The other three ended with a missed field goal, a fumble and a failed fourth-down play.

Brett Favre played poorly before being knocked out of the game late in the first half with a nerve problem in his throwing arm. Coach Mike McCarthy said Monday doctors were comfortable about Favre’s ability to return for next Monday night’s game against Seattle. His replacement, Aaron Rodgers, also struggled, although he played after breaking his left foot in the third quarter. He is out for the season.

“We don’t go into a game thinking we’re going to shut these guys out,” linebacker Tedy Bruschi said. “Every drive you’re out there you expect a defensive stop. But to have success like that over the course of the game and not allow even a field goal, it’s something that we’re proud (of).”

The offense also played well throughout – starting with Brady’s 2-yard scoring pass to Daniel Graham on the Patriots first series to his 19-yard touchdown pass to Maroney in the fourth quarter. Brady was sacked just twice and wasn’t intercepted.

“We try to give him as much (time) as we can,” right guard Stephen Neal said. “It’s actually a point of emphasis every week. We want his jersey to be just as clean as when he walks out there.”

Of course, with the new artificial turf, Brady’s uniform should be clean no matter how often he’s knocked down by the Bears. And when he does get the ball off, he’ll be throwing at a defense that is second in the NFL with 15 interceptions.

“He hit the ground a couple of times where he was touched a little bit” by the Packers, Neal said, “and that’s something to work on for next week.”


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