PHOENIX — A strong fourth-quarter surge fell just short for the Arizona Cardinals (6-5) Sunday after falling to the New England Patriots 20 to 17 on a last-second field goal.
A Cardinals blitz on New England’s opening drive forced a turnover that was quickly converted into a touchdown by Kenyan Drake.
Zane Gonzalez connected on a 47-yard field goal to extend Arizona’s lead to 10 while holding Cam Newton’s offense scoreless through the first quarter.
But a 55-yeard return by New England’s Donte Moncrief set up a Patriots touchdown.
Kyler Murray led a 15-play, 71-yard drive that took Arizona within inches of the endzone, but an energized New England defense locked up a fourth-down run to end the first half.
Murray was nursing a shoulder injury suffered against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 11 and visibly avoided contact during rush attempts.
A questionable blindside block penalty on New England saved Arizona from a go-ahead 82-yard punt return by Gunner Olszwelski. The Patriots had to settle for a field goal on the drive.
New England got the ball right back after a tipped pass from Murray led to an interception.
Running back James White found the endzone on a short run to give the Patriots the lead after 17 unanswered points.
Arizona found a spark in the fourth quarter and Drake punched in his second touchdown of the game to tie after an 80-yard drive.
Cardinals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick picked off Newton with time winding down, but a 47-yard field goal attempt from Gonzalez sailed wide right.
Arizona's Isaiah Simmons was hit with a penalty for a helmet-to-helmet tackle on Newton, putting New England in range.
With time expiring, a 50-yard field goal from Nick Folk sealed the game for the Patriots.
Cardinals vs Patriots
Murray finished 23 of 34 on pass attempts for 170 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.
Despite the win, Newton had a dismal game and went just 9 of 18 for 84 passing yards with no touchdowns and two picks.
Arizona's go-to receiver DeAndre Hopkins had a modest game with 55 receiving yards on five catches. Hopkins was hounded by reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore all game.
Arizona was without veteran wide receiver and future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald along with receiver Trent Sherfield.
The two players tested positive for coronavirus earlier in the week and were added to the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list. They joined safety Deionte Thompson who was added to the list earlier.
The Cardinals face off against the Los Angeles Rams at home Sunday, December 6.
Meanwhile, the Patriots (5-6) remain in the playoff hunt and play the Los Angeles Chargers next.
State Farm Stadium will be closed to general public seating during the Rams game due to rising COVID-19 cases in Arizona. A decision hasn’t been made for the final two home games of the regular season.
The Cardinals remain third in the NFC West.