FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — The 4-6 Patriots were looking for a win heading into Sunday afternoon, hoping to keep their playoff chances alive as they hosted the 6-4 Arizona Cardinals.
It was not a good start for QB Cam Newton, as he dropped back for a pass on the 2nd play of the game, LB Jordan Hicks came through the offensive line untouched and met Newton in the backfield.
Hicks met Newton right as he was throwing the ball, which popped up into the air and into the hands of LB Markus Golden for the Cardinals.
That gave the Cardinals great field possession, which ended with a 1-yard TD run by RB Kenyan Drake, putting the Cardinals up 7-0.
The Patriots managed a couple of first downs on their next possession and were forced to punt it back, but they were able to down it at the Cardinals 3-yard line.
The Cardinals took it 68-yards down the field on 12 plays, but were only able to get a field goal by K Zane Gonzalez.
On the ensuing kickoff, KR Donte Moncrief gave the Patriots a little spark when he took the kickoff at the 1-yard line and into the Cardinals side of the field, for a 53-yard return, giving the Pats a 1st and 10 at the Cardinals 46-yard line.
The Patriots got it down to the Cardinals 7-yard line, when, on 4th-and-2, they decided to go for it and it paid off.
Newton pitched it to RB James White on an option play and White did the rest, putting it across the goal line and cutting the Cardinals lead to 10-7.
After the two teams traded punts, the Cardinals got the ball back with just under 7:00 minutes left in the half and took it all the way to the Patriots 1-yard line with 3 seconds left.
That’s when the Pats defense came up big on 4th down, stopping a handoff up the middle by RB Kenyan Drake, keeping it a 10-7 game at the half.
The Cardinals started the 2nd half with the ball, but were only able to come up with 1 first down during their drive, then had to kick it away.
PR Gunner Olszewski caught punt on the run and took it 82-yard untouched to the end zone, however a flag on the play by LB Anfernee Jennings for an illegal blindside block nullified the score, and took the Pats back to the Cardinals 39-yard line.
A few plays later, K Nick Folk knotted the game at 10, when he hit a 35-yard field goal.
The Pats defense continued their good play when S Adrian Philips picked off QB Kyler Murray at the Cardinals 31-yard line.
The Patriots took the lead for the first time of the game 6 plays later when White scored his 2nd TD of the game, and a 17-10 lead.
The Cardinals were driving down the field on their next possession when they found themselves in another 4th down scenario, this time 4th and 5. Murray took the snap and threw it towards TE Dan Arnold, and it fell incomplete.
However, the Cardinals would end up with a 1st down, after a flag was thrown on CB Jason McCourty for defensive holding.
A couple plays later, Drake would add his 2nd score of the game with a 1-yard run, tying the game once again, 17-17.
Cam Newton then made another big mistake when on a 2nd and 15 near mid field with about 4:30 left to play, he threw it right to DB Dre Kirkpatrick for the interception.
The Cardinals were able to move the ball, while eating up some of the clock, but the 45-yard field goal attempt by Gonzalez was wide right, giving Newton a chance to redeem himself.
He was able to move the ball with his feet and his arm and got them in field goal range.
Nick Folk then took the field, staring at a 50-yard attempt with 3 seconds left, and he hit it just over the upright as time expired, giving the Patriots the win, 20-17.
Next week, the Patriots travel out west to take on the Los Angeles Chargers at 4:30 p.m. on WPRI 12.
Stay with New England Nation for the Patriots Wrap at 11:15 p.m. on WPRI 12 as we recap the game with highlights, interviews, and analysis.