Foxboro, MA – Running back Ryan Williams and the rest of the Arizona Cardinals can breathe a sigh of relief.
The Cardinals held on for a 20-18 win Sunday at Gillette Stadium after New England kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed a 42-yard field goal with one second remaining.
Looking to run off more of the clock before punting the ball back to the Patriots, linebacker Brandon Spikes forced a Williams fumble that was recovered by Vince Wilfork at the Arizona 30-yard line with 61 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
On second down, Danny Woodhead ran for a touchdown, but the score was nullified by a holding penalty on Rob Gronkowski. The Patriots eventually moved the ball to the 24, and Gostkowski, who had been 4-for-4 to that point, including a pair of 50-plus yard kicks, pushed his attempt wide left.
"We had an opportunity to win the game," Gostkowski said. "I'd had a good game up until that point and I felt good going out there. It was just one of those things, you get opportunities like that not very often and I have to do a lot better job of coming through for the team. I had a chance to win and it came down to me and I didn't pull through and it stinks."
Beaten out by John Skelton for the starting spot in the preseason, Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb hoped to impress with his second chance.
Kolb, who engineered a game-winning drive in the season opener after Skelton suffered an ankle injury, completed 15-of-27 passes for 140 yards with a touchdown. He added another score on the ground for the Cardinals (2-0), who snapped a five-game losing streak to the Patriots and defeated New England for the first time since 1991.
"Kevin did a nice job," said Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt. "You can tell he is a veteran quarterback and the noise didn't bother him. The situations didn't bother him. He made some plays for us."
Arizona has won nine of its last 11 games dating back to last season.
Tom Brady finished with 316 yards, one touchdown and an interception on 28- of-46 passing for New England (1-1), which lost its first home opener since 2001, the year before Gillette Stadium opened.
Brady hit Wes Welker, who earlier in the game passed Troy Brown as the Patriots' all-time receptions leader, on a seam route for 36 yards on the first play of the second half. The long completion helped set up a 51-yard Gostkowski field goal that put New England up 9-6.
The Patriots went three-and-out on their next possession and Quentin Groves used a burst off the right edge to block Zoltan Mesko's punt. Arizona took over at the New England 2-yard line and Kolb threw a touchdown pass to Andre Roberts on third down to move ahead 13-9.
New England then reached the Arizona 30, where on 3rd-and-6 the team called for a toss sweep to Woodhead. The diminutive Woodhead was wrapped up for a 9- yard loss resulting in a punt.
On the ensuing Arizona drive, Todd Heap turned a short reception into a 28- yard gain. A personal foul at the end of the play placed the ball at the New England 29. Kolb hooked up with Early Doucet for nine yards on 3rd-and-6 to close out the third quarter, and the Cardinals quarterback finished the march with a 5-yard touchdown run one minute into the fourth.
Gostkowski connected from 53 yards later in the quarter and Brady capped an 11-play, 82-yard drive with a short touchdown pass to Gronkowski with 2:06 left. The duo failed to hook up again on the 2-point conversion as Brady's pass fell incomplete.
The game's opening drive ended with Arizona's Jay Feely kicking a 38-yard field goal.
Brady was then picked on the Patriots' first offensive play as defensive tackle Darnell Dockett tipped the pass and cornerback Patrick Peterson made an acrobatic interception at the New England 36.
The turnover led to another Feely field goal, this time from 47 yards.
New England lost tight end Aaron Hernandez to an ankle injury on its next drive. Brady had completed a short pass to Julian Edelman and Hernandez was blocking down field when Edelman fell on his leg. Hernandez required help while he slowly limped off the field.
The Patriots wound up marching to the Arizona 28 before settling for a 46-yard Gostkowski field goal.
Strong play by rookie Chandler Jones on defense and a 22-yard punt return by Edelman helped set New England up with good field position in the second quarter. Four consecutive runs by Stevan Ridley placed the ball at the Arizona 16, but the drive stalled and Gostkowski connected on a 34-yarder, tying the game with 9:08 remaining.
On the ensuing Cardinals drive, Jones, a first-round pick out of Syracuse, forced a Kolb fumble that was recovered by 2012 second-rounder Tavon Wilson. Arizona's defense, though, forced a three-and-out, sacking Brady twice.
The Cardinals are 2-0 for the first time since 2008 ... Welker entered the game tied with Brown at 557 receptions. He had 95 yards on five catches ... Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald made just one grab for four yards ... Ridley gained 71 yards on 18 carries ... Brady passed Johnny Unitas (40,239) and moved into 13th place on the NFL's all-time passing list with 40,531 yards.