The Patriots never led the Packers in Sunday's clash of titans, but they were in striking range from start to finish.
As the clock ticked down toward two-minute warning, with New England trailing by five, the Patriots reached the outskirts of the red zone. But quarterback Tom Brady was sacked for fourth down and kicker Steven Gostkowski missed a 47-yard field goal attempt.
The Week 13 matchup ended in a 26-21 victory for Green Bay.
Touted as a battle between premier quarterbacks Brady and Aaron Rodgers, no one would be surprised if the two division-leaders met in the Super Bowl - a rematch of the 1996 season, which ended with Brett Favre's Packers beating Drew Bledsoe's Pats.
With the win, the Packers improve their record to 9-3 - the same number to which New England falls.
The Packers now stand atop the NFC with the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals. The Patriots maintain sole possession of the AFC's best record.
Brady completed 22 passes in 35 attempts in the loss, throwing for 245 yards and finding Brandon LaFell twice in the end zone. He didn't throw a pick. Rodgers, meanwhile, made 24 completions on 38 attempts and threw for 368 yards. He also had two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Wide receiver Davante Adams received 121 yards, but made just six catches on the 11 balls thrown to him.
New England's leading receiver, tight end Rob Gronkowski, also missed five pass attempts, grabbing seven catches on 12 targets.
Packers running back Eddie Lacy had a strong outing, rushing for 98 yards on 21 carries.
LeGarrette Blount led Patriots' backs with 58 yards on 10 carries. Jonas Gray, a hero two games ago against the Colts, returned to the field after sitting against the Lions. He ran for four yards on one touch. Brandon Bolden made his 17 rushing yards count, adding a touchdown.