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Patriots Edge Arizona 23-21 in Season Opener

Monday, September 12, 2016

 

Jimmy Garoppolo

The New England Patriots (1-0) defeated the (0-1) Arizona Cardinals 23-21 on Sunday night in the season opener in Arizona. 

"I'm really proud of our team here tonight. I thought we got great effort from all three phases, but a good complimentary game. These guys worked really hard during the week," said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick after the game. 

Jimmy Garoppolo went 24 of 33 for 264 yards and a touchdown, earning his first career win. 

"We had a nice game plan. Coaches, players, everyone did a great job throughout the week. We had a good week of preparation and it showed out there tonight," said Jimmy Garoppolo after the game. 

The Win 

The patriots led 23-21 after a Stephen Gostkowski field goal with 3:44 to go in the game. 

On Arizona's next possession, Carson Palmer drove the Cardinals to the New England 29 yard line. 

Cardinals kicker Carson Catanzaro missed a 47 yard field goal to seal the Patriots win. 

Adversity 

The Patriots led the game 17-7 early in the third quarter after LeGarrette Blount scored a touchdown on an 8-yard run 

Then the Cardinals began their come back. 

David Johnson scored one a 1-yard run to cut New England's lead to three, 17-14, with 4:29 to go. 

After the Patriots went up 20-14, the Cardinals came back and took a 21-20 lead when Larry Fitzgerald scored a his second touchdown of the game. 

Patriots Grab Early Lead

The Patriots got on the board at the 7:34 mark of the first quarter when Jimmy Garoppolo hit Chris Hogan on a 37 yard touchdown pass. 

The play capped off an 8 play 74-yard drive that lasted 4 minutes. 

On the Patriots next offensive possession, the Patriots got on the board again, this time as a result of a Stephen Gostkowski 47 yard field goal. 

With 10:30 left in the half, Jimmy Garoppolo fumbled the ball after being sacked by Markus Golden. The ball was recovered by former Patriot Chandler Jones. 

On Arizona’s ensuing possession, Carson Palmer found Larry Fitzgerald for a touchdown. Arizona cut the Patriots lead to 10-7 after the extra point by Carson Catanzaro was good. 

The Patriots took a 10-7 lead into the locker room at the half. 

Next Up 

The Patriots return to action on Sunday, September 18  when they host the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. 

 

Related Slideshow: 5 Takeaways From the Patriots 23-21 Win Over Arizona

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Running Game

I said in the preview story that the Patriots needed something out of their running game and they ended up getting 106 yards and a rushing touchdown out of it. 

LeGarrette Blount had 22 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown but also had a fumble which resulted in 7 points for Arizona. 

James White had 1 rush for 4 yards but had 5 catches for 40 yards. 

One strange sequence was when they brought Brandon Bolden in out of nowhere.

Bolden last played an offensive possession in the preseason against Chicago and that ended in a fumble. It did this time as well, Bolden came in, gained four yards and then fumbled, this time he recovered. 

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Clock Management

At the end of the game with Arizona driving and getting ready to set up for a field goal. 

The Patriots let about 20 seconds or so run off the clock before finally calling a time out with about 40 seconds to play. 

"I wasn't going to initially call it, but then it looked like they weren't in a big rush. That they were going to bleed it a little bit. So if they would have made it, it would have given us more time on the clock. I mean, a field goal would have won going the other way," said Belichick after the game. 

It all ended up working out in the end of course but a strang sequence. 

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Defense

Jamie Collins had one sack and the Patriots as a defense had three sacks, 5 QB hits and 6 passes defensed, as they held Arizona to 21 points. 

The defense was really effective in the first half, holding the Cardinals to only 7 points in the half. The 7 points they scored came off of the Garoppolo fumble, resulting in a short field. 

In the second half, the Cardinals offense began to get it going and was able to move the ball on the Patriots defense. 

However, the Arizona offense is really good, Larry Fitzgerald had 8 catches and two touchdowns, including an unbelievable catch for his second touchdown. Running back David Johnson had 16 carries for 89 yards. 

The Cardinals only rushed for 92 yards in the game. 

Malcolm Butler saw time on both Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd in the game, but was mostly on Floyd. He had 3 receptions for 61 yards. 

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Julian Edelman

The last time Jimmy Garoppolo and Julian Edelman were on the field together in a game, there was a miscommunication and the play nearly resulted in an interception. 

In this point, chemistry and communication was on point. Edelman had 7 receptions for 66 yards and served as a security blanket at times for Garoppolo. 

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Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo got his first career win going 24 of 33 for 264 yards  and a touchdown pass. 

"He made some good plays. It is not perfect but he made a lot of good plays," head coach Bill Belichick said after the game.

On the Patriots first offensive possession of the game, Garoppolo hit Chris Hogan down the sideline for a 37 yard touchdown to give the Patriots a 7-0 lead. 

The Patriots went 10 of 16 on 3rd downs with Garoppolo throwing for 8 of those. Most notably an early second half 3rd and 7 conversion to Malcolm Mitchell which turned into a 26 yard gain. 

Then in the fourth quarter he hit Danny Amendola on a third and 15 and ended up picking up 32 yards o the play. Later in that drive, Gostkowski hit a field goal that would end up being the difference in the game. 

The only negative of the night came in the second quarter when he fumbled the ball, allowing Chandler Jones to recover. Arizona would score a touchdown on the next drive. 

 
 

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