With about four-five minutes left in the game, I thought I had the summary of this game all ready to go. All I had to do was hit the submit button once the clock hit zeros. Today was the prime reason why you don’t submit until all zeros are up on the scoreboard. After all was said and done in a good defensive effort by the Arizona Cardinals, they escaped a horrible last minute fumble by Ryan Williams to defeat the New England Patriots 20-18 in Foxborough on Sunday.
Up 20-9 early in the fourth quarter, you knew the Pats and quarterback Tom Brady had it in them to attempt a comeback. The problem is, it didn’t happen the way we thought it would. So many twists and turns over the last few minutes of the game.
After a 53-yard field goal by Pats kicker Stephen Gostkowski to bring the Pats within 20-12. Then, it got interesting. Cards quarterback Kevin Kolb, who had an ok game, going 15-27 for 140 yards and a touchdown, rushing for another, didn’t make a lot of mistakes today. Yes, he had some missed opportunities in the first half. In the second half it was more about clock and ball control.
The Cards clearly tried to establish a running game. They out-rushed the Pats 105-90 yards on Sunday. Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams looked better than last week, however they both still have a ways to go. Wells ended up getting hurt and having to leave the game. There were a lot of negative running plays, maybe one no more excruciating than the Williams fumble with a 1:01 left, however Williams had a nice 13-yard run prior and Wells ran more North-South than East-West.
Brady continued his long streak of throwing at least one touchdown pass in a game by completing a nice throw to tight end Rob Gronkowski. Gronk though could not haul in the two-point conversion attempt and that ultimately ends up the difference in the game. Turns out though it would not be their last chance to win it. The replacement refs missed a first down catch by receiver Larry Fitzgerald and allowed the Pats to get the ball.
The Cards got it back though and had a chance to kill the clock, but and with the Cards there is always a but, Williams fumbled the ball. There will be questions as to why Williams ran and they didn’t kneel on the ball and punt i back. However, I can see why that call was made. I’m sure it wasn’t easy, but I still agree with it.
There was still 1:10 on the clock and third down. No timeouts remained for the Pats. They would have gotten the ball back with about 20 seconds or so left. Fact is though, you try to do everything not to put the back back in number 12′s hands. That’s just not a Cards strategy. That’s an all-NFL strategy. Maybe it would have been Wells back there if he hadn’t been injured? Maybe so, but Williams was the guy. I don’t necessarily agree with the pitch out left, but it is what it is.
Brady had his shot. He threw the ball to receiver Danny Woodhead and he scampered 30 yard for an apparent touchdown catch with 0:52 left. However, holding on the Patriots. It was the right call when you review replay. Not sure you see that call made every time, but it was the right one. It was one of the few calls I agreed with during that wild fourth quarter.
The Pats got themselves into position and set up a straight shot for Gostkowski from 42 yards. He missed wide left and the rest is history. It’s almost as if it was supposed to end this way. It will never be easy. So many turns in the game. You just knew though it would come down to something like this though the way the game was playing out. I didn’t think it would be this wild, however, a win is a win. I could care less about the stats at this point. All that matters in the NFL are the W’s and L’s. Chalk another ‘W’ up for the Cards. They are now 2-0 and headed back home to face the Philadelphia Eagles next week.