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Arizona at New England

Cards hold on to upset Patriots

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Stephen Gostkowski lay face down on the field after missing a shot at a winning field goal. On the sideline, Kevin Kolb and the Arizona Cardinals celebrated their victory.

The most accurate kicker in New England Patriots history sent a 42-yard attempt wide to the left on the next to last play -- after making three longer field goals -- and the Cardinals held on for a 20-18 win on Sunday.

"Nobody really gave us a chance," said Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt, whose team was a two-touchdown underdog, "but our guys believed they could do it and it's great to see them operate that way."

Backup quarterback Kolb did his part by throwing for one touchdown and running for another. Arizona's defense contributed by sacking Tom Brady four times. And the special teams came through with a blocked punt that set up a touchdown.

"We knew what kind of game this was going to be," said Kolb, filling in for John Skelton, who sat out with a sprained right ankle. "We've been kind of stressing it all week, stay patient, don't get greedy."

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The Patriots began their final possession after Vince Wilfork recovered a fumble by Ryan Williams at the Cardinals 30-yard line with 1:01 left. A 30-yard run into the end zone by Danny Woodhead was nullified by a holding penalty against Rob Gronkowski. New England then moved to the 24 before Brady spiked the ball to stop the clock with 6 seconds remaining.

But Gostkowski sent his kick to the left, just as Billy Cundiff did facing the same goal post on a 32-yard attempt with 11 seconds left in the Patriots 23-20 AFC Championship Game win over Baltimore last season. They visit the Ravens next Sunday.

"I had a chance to win and it came down to me and I didn't pull through, and it stinks," said Gostkowski, who had been 3 for 3 in his career on field-goal attempts in the final two minutes with a chance to tie or win a game.

Coach Bill Belichick placed the blame on the entire team.

"There are a lot of things we could have done better today all the way around, all of us," he said. "Plenty of mistakes out there."

The Cardinals (2-0) have won nine of their past 11 games.

The Patriots (1-1) suffered a big loss when tight end Aaron Hernandez, their most versatile offensive player, hurt his right ankle in the first quarter. He left Gillette Stadium wearing a walking boot and carrying crutches. The Patriots gave no update on the injury.

"Aaron's in there almost every play," wide receiver Wes Welker said, "so it changes quite a bit."

Kolb overcame a shaky start and then threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Andre Roberts 6 minutes into the third quarter after Quentin Groves blocked a punt. Then Kolb ran for a 5-yard score on the third play of the fourth as the Cardinals took a 20-9 lead.

"It's not like we played the perfect game. So, we have a lot to improve on," Kolb said. "If you can get those ugly wins checked off in the win column, that's big."

With the Patriots trailing 20-12 after Gostkowski's 53-yard field goal, Brady led his best drive of the game. He completed eight of 10 passes for 82 yards, capped by a 5-yard touchdown throw to Gronkowski, making it 20-18 with 2:06 left. But his pass to Gronkowski for a 2-point conversion was broken up by Kerry Rhodes.

The loss was the first in 11 home openers since the Patriots moved into Gillette Stadium in 2002. The Cardinals ended a five-game losing streak against the Patriots, beating them for the first time since Sept. 29, 1991.

The Patriots made numerous uncharacteristic mistakes. Patrick Peterson intercepted Brady on the Patriots' first offensive play and the Cardinals blocked a punt by Zoltan Mesko, the first time that happened to him in 122 punts as a pro.

That block gave Arizona the ball at the Patriots 2. After Williams ran for no gain and Kolb threw an incompletion, the quarterback hit Roberts on a quick slant for the touchdown.

The teams were tied at 6 after a lackluster half in which Jay Feely kicked field goals of 38 and 47 yards before Gostkowski tied it with kicks of 46 and 34 yards.

Brady completed 28 of 46 passes for 316 yards and extended his streak to 34 games with at least one touchdown pass, fourth-best in NFL history. But the Patriots were content to let Gostkowski try a 42-yarder at the end as Brady took a knee on two straight plays to run time off before spiking the ball.

"It's just a decision that coach [Belichick] makes," Brady said. "We shouldn't have been leaving it up to that particular situation. We were fortunate to get that defensive turnover there late. We just came up short."

Kolb completed 15 of 27 passes for 140 yards with one sack and no interceptions, and that was good enough to pull off the upset.

"Coming down here to get a W can definitely propel our season to the next level," Peterson said. "Some guys in the locker room described it as a statement game. But we'll have to wait and see what the rest of the season has for us."

Notes

  • Welker became the Patriots all-time leading receiver with 562 catches after making five on Sunday. He began the day tied with Troy Brown at 557.
  • Brown was honored at halftime after being named to the Patriots Hall of Fame.
  • The Cardinals won despite being outgained 387 yards to 245.
  • The Patriots held Larry Fitzgerald to one catch for 4 yards.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Patrick Peterson and the Cardinals celebrate their victory over a fallen Stephen Gostkowski after his missed field goal.  (AP)
Patrick Peterson and the Cardinals celebrate their victory over a fallen Stephen Gostkowski after his missed field goal. (AP)

 

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Sun. Sept. 16Final
Arizona
(2-0)
607720
333918
CardinalsPatriots
Pass: K. Kolb (15-27, 140) T. Brady (28-46, 316)
Rush: B. Wells (14-44) S. Ridley (18-71)
Rec: T. Heap (5-62) W. Welker (5-95)
Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
FGJay Feely makes a 38 yard kick. Drive: 13 plays, 60 yards in 6:18.
FGJay Feely makes a 47 yard kick. Drive: 4 plays, 7 yards in 0:49.
FGStephen Gostkowski makes a 46 yard kick. Drive: 11 plays, 47 yards in 5:20.
2ND QUARTER
FGStephen Gostkowski makes a 34 yard kick. Drive: 7 plays, 30 yards in 3:32.
3RD QUARTER
FGStephen Gostkowski makes a 51 yard kick. Drive: 7 plays, 47 yards in 2:07.
TDAndre Roberts catches a 2 yard pass from Kevin Kolb (Jay Feely kick is good). Drive: 3 plays, 2 yards in 0:49.
4TH QUARTER
TDKevin Kolb runs for 5 yards (Jay Feely kick is good). Drive: 9 plays, 75 yards in 3:46.
FGStephen Gostkowski makes a 53 yard kick. Drive: 6 plays, 29 yards in 1:11.
TDRob Gronkowski catches a 5 yard pass from Tom Brady (Tom Brady passes to Rob Gronkowski for a 2 Pt. Conversion - failed). Drive: 11 plays, 82 yards in 3:36.
Players of the Game
New England

R. Gronkowski
Rec 6
Yds 75
Avg 12.5
TD 1

K. Kolb
Att 27
Comp 15
Yds 140
TD 1
 
Arizona
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
K. Kolb15/2714010
RushingATTYDSTDLG
B. Wells1444010
K. Kolb62016
P. Peterson117017
R. Williams1013013
L. Stephens-Howling21107
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
T. Heap562028
B. Wells124024
E. Doucet321012
L. Stephens-Howling110010
R. Williams21007
R. Housler1707
L. Fitzgerald1404
A. Roberts1212
New England
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
T. Brady28/4631611
RushingATTYDSTDLG
S. Ridley1871020
D. Woodhead818010
L. Hilliard1202
T. Brady1-10-1
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
W. Welker595036
R. Gronkowski675122
B. Lloyd860012
J. Edelman550017
S. Ridley324016
D. Woodhead112012
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
CHI 10 Final
GB 23
KC 17 Final
BUF 35
NO 27 Final
CAR 35
CLE 27 Final
CIN 34
MIN 20 Final
IND 23
HOU 27 Final
JAC 7
TB 34 Final
NYG 41
BAL 23 Final
PHI 24
DAL 7 Final
SEA 27
WAS 28 Final
STL 31
OAK 13 Final
MIA 35
NYJ 10 Final
PIT 27
TEN 10 Final
SD 38
DET 19 Final
SF 27
DEN 21 Final
ATL 27