Final

Cardinals 20

(2-0, 1-0 away)

Patriots 18

(1-1, 0-1 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, September 16, 2012

Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA 

1 2 3 4 T
ARI 6 0 7 720
NE 3 3 3 918

Top Performers

Passing: T. Brady (NE) - 316 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: S. Ridley (NE) - 18 CAR, 71 YDS

Receiving: W. Welker (NE) - 5 REC, 95 YDS

Stephen Gostkowski misses late FG try as Pats upset by Cards

ESPN.com news services

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."

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 Tom 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 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.

The Cardinals (2-0) have won nine of their last 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, although according to multiple reports, initial X-rays on the ankle did not reveal a broken bone.

"You can't go into the game just counting on one guy, any guy," coach Bill Belichick said. "Everybody has to be ready to adjust. It's not the first time a player has been injured in a game."

Added wide receiver Wes Welker: "Aaron's in there almost every play, 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 8 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 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."

Information from ESPNBoston.com's Mike Rodak and Field Yates and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
ARI
NE
1st Downs1625
Passing 1st downs
717
Rushing 1st downs
88
1st downs from Penalties
10
3rd down efficiency
4-145-15
4th down efficiency
0-00-0
Total Plays6178
Total Yards242387
Yards per play4.05.0
Total Drives1314
Passing140297
Comp - Att
15-2728-46
Yards per pass
5.26.5
Interceptions thrown
01
Sacks - Yards Lost
2-04-19
Rushing10290
Rushing Attempts
3228
Yards per rush
3.23.2
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-21-3
Penalties5-398-60
Turnovers21
Fumbles lost
20
Interceptions thrown
01
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession28:1931:41

Passing Leaders

ARIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Kolb15/271405.2102-0
NEC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Brady28/463166.9114-19

Rushing Leaders

ARICARYDSAVGTDLG
Wells14443.1010
Kolb5173.416
NECARYDSAVGTDLG
Ridley18713.9020
Woodhead8182.3010

Receiving Leaders

ARIRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Heap56212.40289
Wells12424.00241
NERECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Welker59519.003611
Gronkowski67512.51229

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERARINE
ariFG08:42Jay Feely 38 Yd 30
ariFG07:42Jay Feely 47 Yd 60
neFG02:22Stephen Gostkowski 46 Yd 63
SECOND QUARTERARINE
neFG09:08Stephen Gostkowski 34 Yd 66
THIRD QUARTERARINE
neFG12:53Stephen Gostkowski 51 Yd 69
ariTD08:52Andre Roberts 2 Yd Pass From Kevin Kolb (Jay Feely Kick) 139
FOURTH QUARTERARINE
ariTD14:00Kevin Kolb 5 Yd Run (Jay Feely Kick) 209
neFG06:45Stephen Gostkowski 53 Yd 2012
neTD02:06Rob Gronkowski 5 Yd Pass From Tom Brady (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed) 2018

Research Notes

The Patriots outgained the Cardinals by 142 yards on Sunday. The last time the Patriots lost a regular-season game in which they outgained an opponent by that much was week 10 in 1989, when they lost to the Saints, 28-24. They had won their previous 45 regular-season games when outgaining an opponent by that much.
NEXT-LEVEL: Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb did not try to stretch to the field against the Patriots as 13 of 15 completions and 22 of 27 pass attempts traveled 10 or fewer yards downfield. Those short passes have been Kolb's calling card as he was 5-6 with a touchdown in the Week 1 win over the Seahawks.
NEXT-LEVEL: The Patriots lost tight end Aaron Hernandez to an ankle injury in the first quarter Sunday against the Cardinals. The Patriots used two tight ends on just 20 of 77 offensive plays, averaging 3.0 yards per play with two tight ends on the field. The Patriots used two or more tight ends on all 66 plays in Week 1 against the Titans, averaging 5.9 yards per play. Since the start of the 2011 season, the Patriots lead the NFL with 80.1 percent of their offensive plays (926 of 1149) involving at least two tight ends.
Tom Brady overthrew Brandon Lloyd and an open Rob Gronkowski on deep passes into end zone in the second quarter. Since the start of 2011, Tom Brady has overthrown 12 of his 19 attempts at least 30 yards downfield (63.2 percent, highest in NFL) including both misses today.
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