New England Patriots keep playoff hopes alive with win over Arizona Cardinals

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FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts – Nick Folk threw a 50-yard basket at the end of the time limit, and the New England Patriots rallied in the second half to beat the Arizona Cardinals 20-17 on Sunday.
James White rushed for two touchdowns for the Patriots (5-6), who earned the seventh victory in their last eight meetings with the Cardinals. It was the second time this month that Folk had hit a winning field goal at the last second. His 51-yard runner beat the New York Jets 30-27 on Nov. 9.

Arizona (6-5) haven’t beaten New England since 2012.

Cam Newton struggled, finishing 9 of 18 for 84 yards and two interceptions. New England won the game despite finishing with 179 yards taking advantage of the Cardinals’ mistakes.

But the New England defense was strong, holding Arizona’s top-ranked offense, which entered the game averaging 414 yards, for 298 yards. Kenyan Drake rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns for Arizona.

Kyler Murray finished 23 of 34 for 170 yards and an interception. Murray rushed for 31 rushing yards and was held without a touchdown pass for the first time this season.

Trailing 10-0 early on, New England used third-quarter turnovers to take their first lead of the game.

Facing third place, Murray’s pass to DeAndre Hopkins was deflected at the line of scrimmage by Adam Butler and intercepted by Adrian Phillips at Arizona 31.

Six games later, the Whites scored on a 1-yard run to make it 17-10.

After a Patriots punt, Arizona tied it again in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard TD led by Drake with 8:02 to go.

A promising New England drive was then cut short when Dr. Fitzpatrick intercepted Newton’s short pass intended for Damière Byrd with 4:37 remaining.

Arizona had a chance to take the lead, but Zane Gonzalez missed wide right on a 45-yard field goal attempt with 1:47 to go.

Newton’s four-game uninterrupted streak ended just three games into the Patriots’ first disc.

Cardinals linebacker Jordan Hicks was unlocked in a blitz and hit Newton as he was throwing, allowing Markus Golden to find the easy choice.

Arizona took over the New England 23 and used a 19-yard pass from Murray to Andy Isabella to set up a 1-yard TD led by Drake two plays later.

The Cardinals increased their lead to 10-0 in the second quarter as they faced fourth and second on the 7, White found the end zone on optional Newton ground.

Arizona appeared to increase their lead just before halftime on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Murray to KeeSean Johnson. But an examination showed Johnson’s knee was shot before crossing the goal line.

The Cardinals made it fourth and 1, but Drake’s run was interrupted by Akeem Spence and Ja’Whaun Bentley as time was running out.

OUTSIDE THE BOARD

Gunner Olszewski appeared to give the Patriots the lead early in the third quarter when he lined up Andy Leekicked short and returned 82 yards for a touchdown. The score was canceled, however, after the rookie Anfernee Jennings was called in for an illegal blockade on the blind side.

New England led Arizona 4 from the penalty spot, but had to settle for Folk’s 22-yard field goal to tie the game at 10.

BLANKED AGAIN

New England went without TD in the first quarter for the ninth time this season.

The Patriots came into the game after falling 46-21 in the opening period this season. Only two of them were offensive scores, the other coming on a pick-6 by Devin McCourty

INJURIES

Cardinals: defensive lineman Zach Allen left the game in the third quarter.

NEXT

The Cardinals host the Los Angeles Rams next Sunday.

The Patriots visit the Chargers on Sunday for their first of two straight games in Los Angeles.

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Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/khightower

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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