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Following the Patriots 20-18 home loss to the Cardinals on Sunday, most Patriot fans were a combination of shocked and angry. New England entered the game as 13-point favorites, and most fans were expecting them to win easily.
They had a shot to win, but missed a field goal as time expired. The unexpected loss -- combined with the missed field goal and a few questionable coaching decisions -- led to some interesting fan reaction at Pats Pulpit.
"God that game was painful to watch
Brady doesn’t have the ability to throw the ball deep anymore since he spent the last 2 seasons throwing short. Overthrow a wide open Lloyd last week and a wide open Gronkowski this week. Receivers can’t get open so Brady ends up sacking himself multiple times. Atrocious play calling. Get in a rhythm with some 10-15 yard passes and then take a 40 yard shot that’s not even close on 1st down, run for 2 yards on 2nd down, and then miss a pass on 3rd. So many stalled drives." -- Boiler-Up
"Got a thing of ice cream
Crying in a corner and probably going to eat the whole thing. DONT JUDGE ME!" -- cannedham
"Special teams gets an F this week" -- calc
"This game felt like
a slow motion action scene where the main character has a bullet charging right for his head, he narrowly dodges it, but then somehow the bullet curves around and hits him anyways." -- New Century Silver
There is, however, always a bright side.
"remember when we lost to the redskins in 2003?
we all know the ending to that story very well- its has some parallels to this game. maybe we can go on a 21-game win streak" -- freeland1787
Stephen Gostkowski missed a 42-yard field goal in the game's final seconds which would have given the Patriots their second win of the year. After the game, Belichick said "That wasn't our best effort," according to WEEI.com.
Here are the rest of the head coach's comments via WEEI.com:
"They made the plays they had to make to win. We had our chances, in the end we just couldn't make up enough of them. Hopefully we can play better, coach better next week. Do a better job. Just didn't do well enough today. It's as simple as that. In any phase of the game."
Belichick bristled at the notion of his team being affected by the injury of tight end Aaron Hernandez, saying:
"You can't go into a game counting on one guy. Everybody's got to be ready to adjust. It's not the first time a player's been injured in a game."
The Patriots are back in action on Sunday Night when they travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens at 8:20 p.m.
The Patriots had a chance to win the game on a 42-yard field goal attempt by Stephen Gostkowski. The Patriots kicker had already gone 4-for-4 on field goal attempts during the game before he pushed the kick wide left.
Gostkowski had made two 50+ yard field goals during the game, but had only attempted three clutch (last 2:00 or overtime) game-tying or game-winning field goals in his career before Sunday. Gostkowski was 3-for-3 in those situations before Sunday, with his last clutch kick attempt coming during the 2010 regular season.
The loss dropped the Patriots to 1-1 on the 2012 season. The defeat was the first for Tom Brady in a Patriots home-opener in his NFL career. The Cardinals have won seven of their last eight regular season games, which is tops in the league during that period.
Stephen Gostkowski was having a good day. Four attempts, four field goals, including kicks from 46 and 51 yards. So, a 42-yarder should have been nothing, right? Not so fast.
Gostkowski missed a 42-yard straightaway field goal with time expiring, wide left, after the New England Patriots miraculously got the ball back after failing to convert on a two-point conversion that would have tied the game, and the Arizona Cardinals survived, 20-18.
Gostkowski accounted for all of the Patriots' offense through the first 58 minutes of the game, making four straight field goals, before Tom Brady (28-for-48, 316 points, TD, INT) led the Pats on an 11-play, 82 yard drive in just under four minutes (during which Brady was nearly perfect) that ended with a five-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski (six catches, 75 yards). Down by two, the Pats went for two, but Kerry Rhodes defended a pass from Brady to Gronkowski, which would ultimately save the game for the undefeated Cards.
Arizona tried to run out the clock on the ensuing possession, but made a nearly fatal error when they fumbled the ball away to the Patriots, who were already in field goal range. After a Brady incompletion, Danny Woodhead rushed for a touchdown, but Gronkowski was whistled for a hold. Considering how the game ended, that certainly did not help the cause.
Neither team found the end zone in the first half, but two field goals apiece from Jay Feely (38, 47) and Gostkowski (46, 34) made it a 6-6 game at halftime. Arizona scored a touchdown in both the third and fourth quarter while giving up a field goal in the third and a touchdown and another field goal in the fourth to the Patriots, who fall to 1-1 on the season.
New England heads out on the road to face the Baltimore Ravens next Monday night.
After trading a pair of field goals in the first half, the Patriots hoped to pull ahead at home in the third quarter against the visiting Arizona Cardinals. On the opening drive of the second half, the Patriots enjoyed a bit of success, driving the ball down to the 34-yard-line of the Cardinals before settling for a 51-yard field goal attempt from Stephen Gostkowski. The kick would be right down the middle, securing the Patriots their first lead of the night, 9-6.
After yet another unimpressive three-and-out, the Patriots were forced to punt from their own endzone. When rookie Nate Ebner failed to protect his left side, punter Zoltan Mesko's kick was blocked by Cardinals' reserve linebacker Quentin Groves, setting up Kevin Kolb and the Arizona offense on the 2-yard-line. Just three plays later, Kolb would connect with Andre Roberts for a touchdown to give the Cards a 13-9 lead.
The Patriots' offense remained unable to get anything going for the rest of the quarter as the underdog Cardinals took a 13-9 lead into the fourth.
New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez underwent an X-ray on his ankle after suffering an injury during a game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, and the results were negative, according to Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe. The X-ray showed no bone damage, but further tests will need to be done to figure out the severity of the ankle injury.
Hernandez signed a long-term contract extension with the Patriots recently, and is expected to be a major part of New England's offense going forward. The 22-year-old out of Florida caught 79 passes for 910 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011. He picked right up where left off in Week 1, grabbed six balls for 59 yards and a score in the Patriots' win over the Tennessee Titans.
Tom Brady was picked off on his first pass attempt and the New England Patriots' offense stalled out on multiple occasions as the Pats enter halftime tied 6-6 with the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA.
Brady finished the half having completed 7-of-12 passes for 75 yards. Wes Welker had one catch for 25 yards, making him the Patriots' all-time leading receiver with his 558th reception in New England. Stevan Ridley rushed for 54 yards on 11 carries. Stephen Gostkowski has connected on two 46-yard field goals, one in the first and another in the second quarter.
Kevin Kolb had 59 passing yards on 8-of-15 passing. Chris "Beanie" Wells ran for 22 yards and Todd Heap has three catches for a team-leading 23 yards. Larry Fitzgerald has only one catch for four yards. Jay Feely has made two field goals, both of which came in the first quarter.
Sunday's game got off to a hot start for the visiting Arizona Cardinals in their road opener on Sunday, driving the ball 60-plus yards on the New England defense for a field goal on the game's opening possession. Quarterback Kevin Kolb was nearly perfect on this drive, completing four of six passes for 29 total yards while helping the Cards convert four first downs. Veteran place kicker Jay Feely would finish off an impressive series for Arizona with a 38-yard field goal.
Things would go from bad to worse in a hurry for the Patriots when Tom Brady's pass was deflected into the air at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by cornerback Patrick Peterson. After a strong stand by the Pats' defense, we Cardinals would settle for another field goal, this time from 47 yards, to secure themselves an early 6-0 lead.
On just the third offensive play for the Patriots, the unthinkable happened. Versatile tight end Aaron Hernandez rolled his ankle and would have to be helped off the field and into the locker room. Stay tuned for updates here on SB Nation Boston...
The Patriots would drive the ball down into Arizona territory but would have to settle for a Stephen Gostkowski field goal to cut the deficit to 6-3.
Hernandez had to be helped off the field and was immediately taken to the locker room. He could not put any pressure on the ankle, and struggled to descend the steps to the locker room, even as he was being braced by the Patriots training staff.
The third-year starter out of Florida recently signed a long-term contract extension with the Patriots. He is an important piece of the New England offense, catching 79 passes for 910 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011. Hernandez caught six balls for 59 yards and a score in the Patriots' season-opening win over the Titans.
The Patriots trail the Cardinals 6-3 in the first quarter.
The inactives for the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals have been released, and there are no big surprises as defensive end Jake Bequette, cornberback Alfonzo Dennard, tight end Daniel Fells, defensive tackle Marcus Forston, defensive end Justin Francis, wide receiver Greg Salas and running back Shane Vereen will all be out.
The biggest roster news is for the Cardinals, who will be without Week 1 starting quarterback John Skelton who's recovering from a bad ankle injury. In his place will be backup Kevin Kolb who will have a chance to take over the starting job with a strong performance. Kolb helped the Cardinals beat the Seattle Seahawks, 20-16, in week one.
Other players that will be out for Arizona will be: wide receiver LaRon Byrd, tight end Jim Dray, guard Senio Kelemete, tackle Pat McQuistan, runningback William Powell and linebacker Jamaal Westerman.
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots welcome the Arizona Cardinals into Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts for the home opener on Sunday afternoon.
Event: New England Patriots (1-0) vs. Arizona Cardinals (1-0) - Regular Season, Week 2.
Date/Time: Sunday, September 16, 2012 - 1:00 p.m. ET.
Location: Gillette Stadium (Capacity: 68,756), Foxborough, MA.
Broadcast Info: Sunday's home opener between the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals will be televised regionally on FOX (Ch. 8 in Boston and surrounding areas) and on DirecTV channel No. 706. The game can also be heard on the radio on WBZ-FM 98.5 The Sports Hub, with Gil Santos and Scott Zolak on the call, and on Sirius channel No. 91.
Odds: New England is favored over Arizona by 15.5 points, according to OddsShark.
Patriots 53-Man Roster: View the New England Patriots' 53-man roster by clicking here.
Cardinals 53-Man Roster: View the Arizona Cardinals' 53-man roster by clicking here.
Last Season: New England is coming off of a very successful season in which it reached the Super Bowl, but lost to the rival New York Giants. The 2011 version of the Pats went 13-3, best in the AFC, and easily took care of the Denver Broncos and barely squeaked past the Baltimore Ravens en route to the big game in Indianapolis. Arizona went 8-8 last season and finished second in the NFC West division, failing to qualify for postseason play in 2011.
Preseason: New England went 1-3 in the preseason, defeating the New Orleans Saints (7-6) in the opener but losing to the Philadelphia Eagles (27-17), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (30-28) and the New York Giants (6-3). Arizona went 1-4 in the preseason, defeating the Oakland Raiders (31-27) but losing to the New Orleans Saints (17-10), the Kansas City Chiefs (27-17), the Tennessee Titans (32-27) and Denver Broncos (16-13).
Last Time Out: New England coasted to a 34-13 win over the Titans in the season opener last Sunday, powered by a balanced all-around attack. Tom Brady threw for 236 yards, Stevan Ridley rushed for 125 yards and the Patriots' defense held Titans star back Chris Johnson to four rushing yards on 11 attempts. Arizona opened up its season with a 20-16 win over the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday. John Skelton had 149 passing yards and a pick before leaving the game with an injury. Larry Fitzgerald had four catches for 64 yards.
Last Meeting: New England and Arizona last met at Gillette Stadium on December 28, 2008, when the Pats cruised to a 47-7 win in Foxboro. That was the season when Brady was sidelined after going down with a season-ending knee injury in the season opener. Then Pats starting quarterback and current Chiefs starer Matt Cassel threw for 345 yards and three touchdowns while Lamont Jordan racked up 78 rushing yards and two scores. Matt Leinart threw for 138 yards and Larry Fitzgerald had three catches for 101 yards.
Storyline: The soft schedule continues for the Patriots as they host the Cardinals in the home opener. Just like Tennessee, Arizona is a team that most aren't expecting to see in late January. The Cardinals barely got past a middle of the road Seahawks squad in Week 1, and lost their starting quarterback in the process. With John Skelton out, Kevin Kolb steps back into the starting role, and he will certainly be under a lot of pressure. However, if Kolb can keep his composure, he has the best offensive weapon on the field in wideout Larry Fitzgerald, who burned the Patriots for 101 yards in their last meeting. New England played a very well balanced game in its season opener, and all signs point towards the Pats doing the same on Sunday (and winning). Simply put, the Cards aren't talented enough.
Players To Watch: Tom Brady, but that's a given. Expect the Patriots' quarterback to put up his usual big numbers. Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Brandon Lloyd all had good outings against the Titans, but Wes Welker was virtually absent, and it's hard to imagine that would happen two weeks in a row. Kevin Kolb will be under the microscope as he tries to gain the faith of his teammates and coaches. Larry Fitzgerald is quite good, too.
Prediction: New England shouldn't have a hard time winning at home, against Arizona no less, and that should show on the scoreboard. Final Score: Patriots 31, Cardinals 13.
After an impressive Week 1 win over the Titans, the Patriots will be back on the field this Sunday when they host the Arizona Cardinals in the 2012 home opener at Gillette Stadium. Here are five things to watch for.
The New England Patriots are heavy favorites to beat the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2, with every picker from major NFL prediction sites siding with a Pats victory.
The Cardinals might be 1-0, but there's no reason to expect them to be able to compete with New England. It's unclear whether John Skelton will be making the start after suffering an injury in Sunday's win over the Seattle Seahawks, although his backup Kevin Kolb is the one who threw a late touchdown pass to give the team a 20-16 victory. And the shaky quarterback situation is a bright spot: Beanie Wells only managed 14 yards for the Cards, putting the starting running back second in rushing to Andre Roberts, a wide receiver who had one carry for 15 yards. Bill Belichick's defense is probably salivating at the prospect of feasting on Arizona after scoring as many touchdowns as they allowed from the Tennessee Titans offense in Week 1.
The mismatch between one of the league's best and a squad that will struggle to manage in the NFC West led to a gaudy line featuring the Patriots favored by 14 points -- the biggest margin in the league.
Here's the lines heading into Sunday's matchup:
Opening line: New England -13
Current line: New England -14
Money lines: New England -900, Arizona +650
The New England Patriots had six players limited in practice on Wednesday and starting OG Dan Connolly sat out with a head injury.
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