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Final – Cardinals 20-18: The Patriots killed some clock after the Woodhead score was called back, setting up Stephen Gostkowski for a 42-yard try for the win with time expiring. But Gostkowski, who was 4-for-4 prior to the kick, booted it wide left.
The Patriots had their chances, but never took advantage. The offense took forever to get into a rhythm, and paid for it in the end.
“It’s a team game and certainly we shouldn’t have been leaving it up to that situation,” Brady said of the missed kick at the end of the game. “We were fortunate to get that defensive turnover late. We just came up short. We had opportunities to make plays and didn’t make enough of them.”
There is no doubt the loss of Hernandez played a big role in the offenses inability to get going, but Brady still had little issue hitting Brandon Lloyd, Rob Gronkowski and Wes Welker early and late in the game.
The defense played well again, allowing just 245 yards, but the offense was again stagnant.
4th Quarter, :52 – Cardinals 20-18: Danny Woodhead broke what should have been a game-winning touchdown run, but it was called back on a holding call.
Instead of a 30-yard touchdown, the Patriots lose 10 yards. Luckily Wes Welker picked up that and more on a screen play.
4th Quarter, 1:53 – Cardinals 20-18: The Patriots get a HUGE break off a HUGE turnover by the Cardinals as they tried to simply kill the clock.
Ryan Williams went for a rush on 3rd and 13 for Arizona with 1:10 left. But he broke the golden rule and didn’t hold on to the football. Brandon Spikes knocked the ball away though, and Vince Wilfork picked it up to give the Patriots the ball on the Arizona 30.
4th Quarter, 2:06 – Cardinals 20-18: It took them all game, but the offense finally got things together and found the endzone.
Brady led New England on an 11-play drive that covered 82 yards in 3:36, capping it off with a five-yard touchdown toss to Rob Gronkowski.
But Brady tried to hit Gronk again on the 2-point conversion, but couldn’t convert. So the Patriots trail by two with two minutes left. It’ll be up to the defense to hold the Cardinals off the scoreboard.
4th Quarter, 5:52 – Cardinals 20-12: If the comeback is coming, it better happen soon.
The Patriots defense came up with a big stop on Larry Fitzgerald on a 3rd and 8 (Fitzgerald dropped the pass, and would have been short of the first anyways). Plus, Vince Wilfork returned to the field, so that crisis is averted.
The Pats take over on their own 18.
4th Quarter, 7:56 – Cardinals 20-12: Give Stephen Gostkowski “Player of the Game” honors on the New England front. He just booted a 53-yarder and is a perfect 4-for-4 on the day to pull the Patriots within eight.
The Patriots offense is showing signs of trying to break out (Brady and Lloyd are starting to look more comfortable together), but they are running out of time. We’ll see if they can pull off another Gillette-opener comeback like they did back in 2009 against the Bills when they needed to score 11 points in the final 2:06 for the 25-24 comeback win.
4th Quarter, 7:56 – Cardinals 20-9: The Patriots defense got the Cards off the field, but New England may have suffered another blow on the injury front.
Nose tackle Vince Wilfork limped off the field following his 3rd down stuff of Earl Doucet. It goes without saying how big losing Wilfork would be for the Patriots defense; he is one of the big reasons they play so well against the run.
We’ll now stop using “big” in every sentence describing Wilfork.
4th Quarter, 11:54 – Cardinals 20-9: On cue, the Patriots offense sputters and are forced to punt once again.
Patrick Peterson came up and hit Stevan Ridley for a 4-yard loss on 3rd and 1, and Arizona takes over trying to add to their 11-point lead.
4th Quarter, 12:37 – Cardinals 20-9: Brady said something right as the offense took the field.
Following the Cardinals touchdown, he is now three-for-three for a pair of first downs; hitting Brandon Lloyd for 10 yards to begin the drive and then Gronkowski for 22 to get into Arizona territory.
We know how the Pats have fared so far on the Cardinals’ side of the field, but Brady hit Lloyd on the sideline for a beautiful 9-yard reception that saw Lloyd falling over, making the catch and maintaining position, and getting both feat inbounds. The Cardinals challenged the play and lost, so both teams have two timeouts remaining.
The no-huddle has worked for three plays (Brady went incomplete to Lloyd following the challenge), so we’ll see how they finish the drive now.
4th Quarter, 14:00 – Cardinals 20-9: On a Tom Brady-like QB keeper at the goal line, Kevin Kolb puts the Cardinals up by two scores.
Kolb had a wide open middle and took care of business himself. His five-yard TD run capped off a 9-play, 75 yard drive that took 3:46 off the clock.
Bill Belichick lost a challenge on a 7-yard connection by Kolb to Rob Housler by the sidelines, so New England only has two time outs left.
The good news is Tom Brady looked pretty fired up on the sidelines. He told the rest of the offense they need to take it one score at a time, so we’ll see if he can get the troops together and lead the Pats to their first touchdown of the day. With time starting to run out, they need it.
3rd Quarter Highs and Lows
Levan Reid’s highs and lows from the third quarter:
– Thanks to Stephen Gostkowski and his big leg, the Pats were able to puts some points on the board on their initial drive to start the third. A 51-yard field goal right down the middle to give the Pats a short-lived lead.
– On the Cardinals first possession of the quarter the Patriots defense held them. Rookie linebacker Dont’a Hightower came through with a great one-on-one tackle in the backfield on these set of downs.
– The Pats got the ball to start the 3rd but after a 36 yard pass to Wes Welker go nowhere.
– Pats ended their second possession with a punt — which was blocked. Cardinals took over at the Patriots 2-yard line and led to the game’s first touchdown. Kevin Kolb hit Andre Roberts as the Pats continue to be their own worst enemy.
– The Pats third possession of the quarter was a long drive together, but they get nothing out of it. The whole offense looks out of sync and there are many questionable play calls. Also, the Pats offense has been booed about four times this game.
– The Cardinals have the ball to end the quarter and they have been driving. They got some help from some poor tackling by the Pats and some penalties. They end the quarter in the red zone at the Patriots 16.
End of 3rd Quarter, Cardinals 13-9: The Cardinals come up with a huge 2nd down conversion, thanks to a bad tackle attempt (if you can even call it that) by Kyle Arrington and a couple of New England flags.
On 2nd and 18, Kolb went short to Todd Heap who made a nice catch and run for 28 yards, thanks to the poor tackling on Arrington. A Steve Gregory hit out of bounds on Heap added another 15 yards to the play to put Arizona on the New England 29.
A few plays later, Kolb hit Doucet on a 3rd down to get to the New England 9 as the quarter drew to a close.
The Cardinals are marching now, and will start the game’s final quarter with a really good chance to tack on to their lead. Meanwhile the New England defense is starting to fold a bit, while the offense is still searching on the sidelines.
3rd Quarter, 2:46 – Cardinals 13-9: Once again the Cardinals defense stops the Patriots after they get into Arizona territory.
The Patriots got the ball to the Arizona 34, but the drive stalled out after. Brady couldn’t hook up with Lloyd on 1st down, Ridley managed just three yards on a screen on 2nd down, and Woodhead was hit for a nine-yard loss by Darnell Dockett on 3rd down. Once again, Mesko was forced to punt the ball away.
The Cardinals are doing a good job shutting down Brady’s receivers down field, causing him to scramble out of the pocket and force a few throws in there. The Patriots are up to 218 yards on total offence, but only have nine points to show for it.
3rd Quarter, 8:52 – Cardinals 13-9: After Wes Welker dropped a third down pass from Brady (the pass was a bit wobbly, but Welker should have had it), the Cardinals blocked a punt that led to the game’s first touchdown.
Quentin Groves got a hand on Zoltan Mesko’s boot, and Arizona took over at the New England 2. After the Pats came up with stops on 1st and 2nd and goal (including an incomplete to Larry Fitzgerald in the end zone on 2nd and goal), Kolb hit Andre Roberts to put 7 points on the board.
3rd Quarter, 12:53 – Patriots 9-6: The Patriots continue to settle for field goals, but at least this one gave them their first lead of the afternoon 9-6.
Following another first down after Welker’s big completion, Brady threw three incomplete passes (Edelman, Ridley and Welker) and the Patriots had to settle for a 51-yarder by Gostkowski. He nailed it to put the Pats up 9-6.
3rd Quarter, 14:26 – 6-6: Maybe Welker’s record-setting catch (by Patriots’ standards that is) is all he needed to open the floodgates.
Brady went right back to Welker for a 36-yard strike to start off the second half, putting the Pats in Arizona territory. Here’s to hoping they get more than three points on this one.
2nd Quarter Highs and Lows
Levan Reid checks in with his highs and lows from the second quarter:
– On the Cardinals first possession of the quarter the Pats defense holds. Chandler Jones is a one-man wrecking crew on these set of downs, getting in Kolb’s grill for all three downs.
– On the Pats second possession of the quarter and they ride Stevan Ridley all the way down the field. The Pats get close but don’t punch it in, settling for a 34-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski.
– The defense continued to make plays on the Cardinals second possession. Chandler Jones comes through again with a hit on Kolb that causes a fumble, with fellow rookie Tavon Wilson recovering the ball.
– The Pats forced another three-and-out on the Cardinals third possession of the quarter. This game is turning into a defensive effort for both teams.
– Wes Welker finally passes Troy Brown to become the Patriots all-time leader in receptions. It’s the first Brady-to-Welker hook up of the afternoon.
– The Pats start the quarter off by giving the ball back on downs.
– On the Pats third possession of the quarter (following the fumble recovery) Brady just got hammered. He was sacked twice. If the Pats can’t protect him they better run the ball because the Cardinals are teeing off on Brady. Marcus Cannon and Michael Hoomanawanui both had misses on the drive. Brady finished the half getting sacked three times.
Halftime – 6-6: Just before the end of the first half, Wes Welker passed Troy Brown on the Patriots All-Time receiving list with his 558th career reception in a New England uniform — a 25-yarder that got New England out to their own 35.
After Danny Woodhead picked up another 12 yards on the next play, Brady went a little too deep for Rob Gronkowski in the end zone. Gronk sprawled out for the potential-scoring play, but could only get his fingertips on the ball.
Brady suffered his third sack of the afternoon, although it was only because he didn’t get back to the line of scrimmage on the QB keeper.
The New England defense is playing very well, but the Patriots couldn’t do much on offense in the first half. They picking up just 129 yards on offense, with 71 of those yards coming on the ground. The good news is Stevan Ridley picked up where he left off last week with 54 rush yards in the first half.
The bad news is Aaron Hernandez is still nowhere in sight…
2nd Quarter, 4:35 – 6-6: The Patriots offense is all out of sorts right now. Tom Brady was sacked twice as the Patriots couldn’t do anything following the Arizona turnover.
Brady went down on a fake end-around, losing 10 yards, and was sacked again for a 7-yard loss — this coming after a Donald Thomas false start cost them five yards.
The Pats were forced to punt after going 3-and-out. They have just 86 totals yards so far in the game.
2nd Quarter, 6:04 – 6-6: Kevin Kolb was actually running the ball well, until he just coughed it up on a keeper.
Tavon Wilson was in the right place at the right time, picking up his second turnover in as many weeks on the play. No surprise, it was Chandler Jones applying the pressure on Kolb.
2nd Quarter, 9:12 – 6-6: After starting in Cardinal’s territory, the Patriots can only muster six points.
Stevan Ridley picked up 30 yards on the ground for the Patriots, but the drive ended with a field goal to tie the game at 6-6.
On a 2nd and 7 in the Arizona Red Zone, Brady hit Brandon Lloyd for five yards, but Danny Woodhead couldn’t push forward on third down to pick up the first.
Gostkowski hit a 34-yarder to tie it, but the Patriots could have gotten more. Give the Cardinals defense credit for coming up with a pair of stops when they needed it.
In all, the Patriots covered 30 yards in seven plays over 3:32 on the drive.
2nd Quarter, 12:53 – Cardinals 6-3: Rookie Chandler Jones is wreaking some havoc early, applying some great pressure to Kevin Kolb.
He nearly got to Kolb with tackle D’Anthony Batiste holding him back. Jones applied more pressure on the following 3rd and 17, forcing Kolb to throw incomplete to Heap.
Jones already has three tackles in this one, including one for a loss.
First Quarter Highs and Lows
Levan Reid checks in with his highs and lows of the first quarter:
– On the Cardinals second possession the Pats defense showed some light. On 3rd-and-3, they force Kevin Kolb into a bad throw.
– On the Pat’s third possession of the quarter they finally got on the board. Tom Brady passed Johnny Unitas on the career passing list in the process, hitting Rob Gronkowski and Stevan Ridley in key situations to continue the drive. It ended with a 46-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.
– The Pats defense held again on the Cardinals third possession of the quarter, forcing a 3-and-out. Rob Ninkovich came up with a sack to end the drive.
– The Cardinals got the ball to start the game and moved down the field with some ease. Beanie Wells had a couple of yards off the top and a direct snap to Patrick Peterson seemed to catch the Pats by surprise. The Cardinals ended the 13 play drive by putting three on the board.
– The Patriots gave the ball right back on their first possession of the quarter. Brady’s pass was tipped at the line and the ball fell into the hands of Patrick Peterson for the interception. So it was one play for the Pats offense and they are off the field.
– On the Pat’s second possession of the quarter Aaron Hernandez got hurt. He walked off the field with some help but did not look good as he headed to the locker room with a trainer on each shoulder. The Pats are calling it an ankle injury, and Hernandez’ return is questionable.
End 1st Quarter, Cardinals 6-3: The Cardinals lead by a field goal as the first quarter draws to a close. The Patriots forced an Arizona three-and-out to get the ball back, with Stevan Ridley breaking a nice 20-yard run before the end of the quarter.
Ridley finished the first frame with 24-yards on the ground and 16 on one reception. Brady is 4-for-6 for 33-yards with one interception.
Again, tight end Aaron Hernandez is “questionable” to return after suffering a right ankle injury.
1st Quarter, 2:22 – Cardinals 6-3: The Patriots also can’t convert after a 3rd down offsides by the Cardinals gave them a little less field to work with, settling for a 46-yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal to cut the Arizona lead in half.
Brady went 4-for-5 on the drive for 33 yards, with Stevan Ridley rushing for three yards and picking up another 16 on a screen.
The biggest blow came with the Hernandez injury though. He is “questionable” to return, but it looks unlikely he’ll be hitting the field this afternoon. It looked like a high ankle sprain, which is never good for any player. Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte suffered a similar injury Thursday night against the Packers, and is expected to be shelved for at least a month.
1st Quarter, 7:03 – Cardinals 6-0: Aaron Hernandez looked to suffer a right ankle injury (possible high ankle sprain) while blocking on a quick out by Julien Edelman.
Edelman rolled up on Hernandez ‘ ankle at the end of the play, and was on the ground for several minutes following the play. He was looked at by the Patriots medical staff and had to be helped off the field. We’ll keep you posted on any updates throughout the afternoon, although it did not look good as he hit the steps to get to the Pats’ locker room.
Losing the versatile Hernandez for any amount of time would be a huge blow for the Patriots, although Wes Welker will likely see a jump in his targets without Hernandez on the field.
1st Quarter, 7:42 – Cardinals 6-0: Arizona gets something out of the turnover, but not much.
Vince Wilfork was tagged for an offside penalty on a 3rd and 8, giving Arizona a 3rd and 3, but Kevin Kolb overthrew Todd Heap for what could have gone as a touchdown over the New England secondary.
Instead Feely booted his second field goal of the day, a 47-yarder, to give Arizona an early 6-0 lead. The “drive” lasted just 49 seconds, covering seven yards in four plays.
We’ll see if the Patriots offense can do better this time around.
1st Quarter, 7:57 – Cardinals 3-0: Tom Brady’s first pass went to the wrong team, although most of that was due to a great deflection by Arizona D-lineman Darnell Dockett. Brady was looking for Julien Edelman over the middle, but instead the ball found Patrick Peterson’s hands for New England’s first turnover of 2012.
The Cardinals will take over at the New England 36.
Donald Thomas got the start at right guard for New England, in place of the active Dan Connolly.
1st Quarter, 8:42 – Cardinals 3-0: The Cardinals went marching, but only came up with three points thanks to a 38-yard Jay Feely field goal.
Arizona found themselves in Patriot’s territory thanks to some big runs and timely completions over the middle from Kolb, but couldn’t come up with a 3rd and 3 conversion at the Pat’s 20. Kolb went too high to Heap, setting up the field goal.
In all, the Cardinals picked up 60 yards in the 6:18 drive. But all that matters is they only got three points out of it.
1st Quarter, 10:40 – 0-0: The Cardinals are moving the ball on their first possession, picking up three first downs — all on the ground.
They just broke out the wildcat formation, with corner Patrick Peterson gaining 18 yards on the play.
Kevin Kolb’s first throw of the game was low to tight end Todd Heap, but was able to move the chains with a nice screen to LaRod Stephens-Howlings on the next play.
1st Quarter, Kickoff: The Patriots won the toss and deferred to the second half. New Patriots Hall of Fame inductee Troy Brown was out there for the coin toss, and got a big hug from Tom Brady on his way back to the sideline.
Pregame, 12:45 p.m.: We’ll start things off with a little history lesson. The last time the Patriots lost a home opener was in 2001 when they lost 10-3 to the New York Jets. Former Patriots running back Curtis Martin ran for 106 yards and the game’s only touchdown, while Drew Bledsoe was knocked out of the game and replaced by some kid named Tom Brady.
You know what happened from there. Take time today to say a quick thank you to Mo Lewis once again.
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