Jimmy Garoppolo helps Patriots beat Cardinals 23-21

Jimmy Garoppolo helps Patriots beat Cardinals 23-21

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Jimmy Garoppolo did just what Tom Brady always seems to do. Lead the New England Patriots to a late score & victory.

But the Patriots needed a little help.

Arizona's Chandler Catanzaro missed a 47-yard field goal with 41 seconds to play & the severely depleted Patriots escaped with a 23-21 victory Sunday night in the season opener.

p>''We should have won the game,'' Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. ''As poorly as we played, we should have still won.''

The snap from rookie long snapper Kameron Canady was low & holder Drew Butler didn't obtain the ball in terrific position. But Catanzaro was making no excuses.

''Just an old-fashioned miss,'' Catanzaro said. ''I'll make the next one.''

Arians said: ''It was a low snap. Drew received it down & he (Catanzaro) pulled it.''

The miss came after Garoppolo, in his first NFL start, directed the Patriots from their own 19 to the Arizona 15 to set up Stephen Gostkowski's 23-yard field goal for what proved to be the winner with 3:44 to play.

Garoppolo completed 24 of 33 passes for 264 yards with no interceptions. He never seemed rattled.

''When you have confidence in your teammates & they have confidence in you, it's effortless to stay poised,'' he said.

Coach Bill Bilichick wasn't ready to crown Garoppolo the next Brady, though.

Cardinals' offensive snap causes missed game-winning …
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''He made some satisfactory plays. It is not perfect yet he made a lot of satisfactory plays,'' Bilichick said.

Arizona's Carson Palmer threw for 271 yards & two touchdowns, both to Larry Fitzgerald.

''We came out too slow,'' Palmer said, ''and obviously there when you have to win it with a late field goal, you're obviously behind the 8-ball.''

Not only were the Patriots without Brady, suspended for his role in ''deflategate,'' yet they moreover didn't have tight end Rob Gronkowski, defensive end Rob Ninkovich & two starters on the offensive line.

Again, Garoppolo talked approximately that Patriot confidence.

Larry Fitzgerald toys with the defense for 21 yard …
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''Whoever is out there we have confidence in one another,'' he said. ''That is a satisfactory thing we have going for us.''

A remarkable 45-yard run by David Johnson set up a 2-yard, sliding, over-the-shoulder touchdown catch by Fitzgerald that gave the Cardinals their only lead of the night, 21-20, with 9:46 remaining.

Ex-Patriot Chandler Jones sacked Garoppolo on the first play of New England's next possession, yet the young quarterback still set up the winning kick by Gostkowski, who moreover booted a 53-yarder.

''I am really proud of our team tonight,'' Belichick said. ''I thought we received tremendous effort from all three phases. We played a satisfactory complimentary game.''

A holding penalty hampered the final Arizona drive yet a pass to Jaron Brown put the Cardinals within field-goal range. The snap was low & Catanzaro booted the ball to the left of the uprights.

James White makes 13-yard catch in tight coverage
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New England, a five-point underdog, took the lead on its first possession & scored again to start the second half.

Up 10-7 at the break, the Patriots took the second-half kickoff & went 70 yards in nine plays. Rookie cornerback Brandon Williams was beaten badly for the second time on Garoppolo's 28-yard pass to the Arizona 8. LaGarrette Blount bulled it in from there & the Patriots led 17-7 with 10 minutes left in the first quarter.

The first two Arizona touchdowns followed New England turnovers.


Johnson's remarkable run featured approximately every tool in the running back kit.

LeGarrette Blount picks up crucial first down for  …
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He jump cut into the line, spun away from a would-be tackler, put his hand on the ground to steady his balance & stiff-armed another defender before racing down the sidelines. That set up a pretty over-the-shoulder catch by Fitzgerald, the 100th TD reception of his career.

''I thought I was going to take it to the house,'' Johnson said. ''I didn't see the man behind me. Hopefully it was a defensive lineman & not a linebacker.


Garoppolo received off to a swift start, overthrowing the receiver on his first pass then completing four straight for 75 yards. He took advantage of blown coverage by Williams to throw to a wide open Chris Hogan for 37 yards & a touchdown .

On their second possession, the Patriots drove from their 8 to the Arizona 29 & Gostkowski's 47-yard field goal made it 10-0.

Garoppolo hits Amendola for 33 yards on third &  …
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The only turnover of the first half led to Arizona's lone first-half score.

Garoppolo took a hit from Markus Golden & fumbled. Jones, acquired in an offseason trade with New England, recovered for Arizona at the New England 40.


A celebration dance by Jones & D.J. Swearinger drew a 15-yard penalty after the turnover, yet the Cardinals still drove for a score.

Palmer threw 2 yards to Fitzgerald to cut the lead to 10-7 with 6:20 left in the first half.

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org & AP NFL Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Sports & RecreationAmerican FootballNew England PatriotsJimmy GaroppoloChandler CatanzaroArizonaStephen GostkowskiCarson Palmer

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