FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Tom Brady had better hope his legal defense is better than his football defense.
The suspended Patriots quarterback hung around for one play less than a full quarter in the exhibition opener on Thursday night before giving way to Jimmy Garoppolo and watching as the Green Bay Packers beat the Super Bowl champions 22-11.
A day after appearing before a federal judge hearing the appeal of his “Deflategate” punishment, Brady completed one of four passes while playing just two series — a three-and-out and a four-and-out.
“Tom’s a buddy. And he’s going through some stuff right now,” said Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who spoke briefly with his New England counterpart after the game. “I’m sure we’ll have a resolution here pretty soon.”
Garoppolo, who would fill in for Brady if any part of his four-game suspension is upheld, played the rest of the way. He went 20 for 30 for 159 yards, no touchdowns and one interception, and was sacked seven times.
“I’m going into it pretty much the same way I would whether this was going on or not,” Garoppolo said. “Whether you’re the backup, starter, third-string or whatever, you have to have the mindset that you’re the starter.”
Rodgers completed 11 of 19 passes for 117 yards for Green Bay, which along with Seattle is the oddsmakers’ favorite to win the Super Bowl — especially if Brady misses all four games.
Packers Backup Scott Tolzien was 10 for 16 for 107 yards and a 26-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Janis. Alonzo Harris ran for a 25-yard touchdown for the 2014 NFC North champions. Rookie Brett Hundley completed a 10-yard pass to John Crockett midway through the fourth quarter to give the Packers a 22-11 lead.
“My teammates picked me up when I was a little tense,” said Hundley, a fifth-round pick from UCLA. “First NFL touchdown pass and to put (together) a drive like that against New England was an awesome experience.”