FOXBORO, Mass. — After allowing 10 points on their first two defensive series, the Patriots defense locked the Arizona Cardinals’ offense down until the fourth quarter Sunday, en route to a 20-17 win at Gillette Stadium. RB James White led the way on offense with two rushing touchdowns as New England scored 20 of the final 27 points to earn the win.
K Nick Folk drilled the game-winning field goal, converting from 50 yards, as time expired, his second game-winning field goal of the season.
With the victory, the Patriots move to 5-6 on the season and will look to move back to .500 for the first time since Week 2 when they travel to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers next Sunday.
After K Zane Gonzalez missed a go-ahead 45-yard field goal attempt with 1:47 to go in the contest, the Patriots took the ball at their own 35-yard-line looking to win the game.
Shortly after, and facing a third-and-long in their own territory, Cam Newton (9-for-18, 84 passing YDS, 2 INTs) peeled off a 14-yard run near midfield to keep New England’s hopes alive. Four plays later, Folk delivered the win by drilling the game-winning kick through the uprights.
White found paydirt in each half, with his first score coming on a 7-yard rush into the endzone as the Patriots faced 4th-and-2 at the beginning of the second quarter. Then, with the third quarter winding down and the game tied at 10-10, White gave New England the lead on a 1-yard touchdown run on 3rd-and-goal.
However that lead would not hold, as a pair of defensive penalties deep in New England territory kept the ball in Arizona’s hands a few drives later. They made the Patriots pay with RB Kenyon Drake’s second touchdown of the game - a 1-yard rush - tying the score at 17-17.
The Cardinals’ only other touchdown of the afternoon came on their first drive of the game. Newton’s eighth interception of the season set Arizona up on the New England 23-yard-line. Three plays later, Drake plunged into the end zone on his first 1-yard touchdown run of the day.
After allowing the score just three minutes into the contest, the Patriots’ defense held firm for the next 42 minutes, holding the Cardinals (6-5) to three more points entering the fourth quarter.
The defense’s defining play of the game came on the final play of the first half. With the Cardinals facing 4th-and-goal from the 1-yard-line, DT Akeem Spence and LB Ja’Whaun Bentley stuffed Drake’s rushing attempt as time expired in the second quarter, keeping the Patriots’ deficit at three points headed into halftime.
S Adrian Phillips hauled in an interception for the lone Patriots turnover of the game, setting the stage for White’s second touchdown six plays later.
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