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.
Kevin Kolb completed 15-of-27 passes and threw for 140 yards and a score. Chris Wells rushed for 44 yards, Todd Heap finished with 62 receiving yards on five receptions.
Stevan Ridley rushed for 71 yards on 18 carries and Wes Welker had five grabs for 95 yards. Aaron Hernandez (zero catches) left the game in the first half after an ankle injury.
New England heads out on the road to face the Baltimore Ravens next Monday night.