Raise your hand if you're confused as I am.
The Patriots struggled throughout the entire day on offense. They managed just six points the entire first half. Then, trailing 20-9 in the fourth quarter, Tom Brady led a vintage-Brady comeback. A quick field goal drive cut the score to 20-12, and then Brady took back over, and marched the team straight down the field for a touchdown to cut the score to 20-18.
Unfortunately, the team couldn't convert the two-point conversion. The Patriots still had a chance to stop the Cardinals and get the ball back with enough time, but surrendered a first down. But with thethe Cardinals running down the clock (would have been to about 20 seconds), Ryan Williams' fumbled the football, and the Patriots recovered with a minute to go at the Arizona 30.
The team didn't deserve to be in the game, but they suddenly were handed the victory on a silver platter. It seemed like they had sealed the win when Danny Woodhead took a draw 30 yards into the endzone - the play was called back because of a questionable Rob Gronkowski holding call. But, the Patriots, with six seconds left, were still able to set kicker Stephen Gostkowski up for a 41 yard field goal attempt to seal the win.
Easy, right? After all, Gostkowski was already 4/4 on field goals on the game, including two of more than 50 yards. And he hadn't missed a fourth quarter field goal in years.
Yet, as the final score suggests, Gostkowski missed the game winning try, and the Patriots are forced to swallow their first loss in a home opener in Gillette Stadium history.
Some additional thoughts after the jump!
Overall, it was a frustrating day for the team. There were several miscues on offense, and the playcalling was certainly questionable at times. There were many more positives to take from the defensive side of the ball. Perhaps, if anything, this game will serve as a wake-up call for the team.
The team played poorly on offense all day. A Zoltan Mesko blocked punt and Tom Brady 1st quarter interception had given the Cardinals ten free points. Yet, the Patriots were in the game until the very last second. If anything, perhaps that shows some resiliency.
When it comes to the Cardinals, you can't help but be impressed with that defense. Calais Campbell, Darnell Dockett, and Daryl Washington were wreaking havoc all day. Tom Brady had little time to throw on several occasions, and he certainly looked a bit rattled. And while Stevan Ridley had a strong first half, that Cardinals' run defense really stepped up in the second half.
So the Patriots end up with the loss on a game they should have lost, then should have won, but ultimately ended up losing... cool? Is it frustrating? Yes. End of the world? No. The Patriots do have a lot of work ahead of them, however, and they're facing a very tough Ravens team seeking revenge for their AFC Championship loss next Sunday night.
Bonus: SB Nation's YouTube channel breaks down the game: