FOXBOROUGH, Mass. Kevin Kolb took advantage of mistakes the Patriots made. Stephen Gostkowski failed when the Cardinals gave him one last chance.
Kolb threw for one touchdown and ran for another, Gostkowski missed a potential winning field goal in the final seconds, and Arizona upset New England 20-18 on Sunday.
The Patriots took over when Vince Wilfork recovered a fumble by Ryan Williams at the Cardinals 30-yard line with 1:01 left. A 30-yard run into the end zone by Danny Woodhead was nullified by a holding penalty against Rob Gronkowski. New England then moved to the 24 before Tom Brady spiked the ball to stop the clock with 6 seconds remaining.
But Gostkowski, who had made his other four field-goal attempts, sent a 42-yard try wide to the left.
The Cardinals (2-0) won behind Kolb, filling in for John Skelton, who missed the game with a sprained right ankle. The Patriots (1-1) lost tight end Aaron Hernandez to an ankle injury in the first quarter.
Kolb overcame a shaky start, then threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Andre Roberts 6 minutes into the third quarter after a blocked punt and ran for a 5-yard score on the third play of the fourth as the Cardinals took a 20-9 lead.
Trailing 20-12 after Gostkowski’s 53-yard field goal, Brady led his best drive of the game. He completed eight of 10 passes for 82 yards, capped by a 5-yard touchdown throw to Gronkowski, making it 20-18 with 2:06 left. But his pass to Gronkowski for a 2-point conversion was broken up by Kerry Rhodes.
The loss was the first in 11 home openers since the Patriots moved into Gillette Stadium in 2002. The Cardinals ended a five-game losing streak against the Patriots, beating them for the first time since Sept. 29, 1991.
The Patriots made numerous uncharacteristic mistakes. Patrick Peterson intercepted Brady on the Patriots’ first offensive play, the Cardinals sacked him four times and they blocked a punt by Zoltan Mesko, the first time that happened to him in 122 punts as a pro.
That block gave Arizona the ball at the Patriots 2-yard line. After Williams ran for no gain and Kolb threw an incompletion, the quarterback hit Roberts on a quick slant for the touchdown.
The teams were tied at 6 after a lackluster half in which Brady passed for just 75 yards and Kolb for 59.
Arizona wasted an excellent opportunity on the game’s first series when it settled for Jay Feely’s 38-yard field goal after marching 60 yards on 12 plays. He added a 47-yarder after the Cardinals failed to get a first down on the series after Peterson’s interception.
Then the Patriots stalled after moving from their 25-yard line to the Cardinals 28, coming away with only a 46-yard field goal by Gostkowski. He tied the game with a 29-yarder with 9:08 left in the first half.
Brady completed 28 of 46 passes for 316 yards and extended his streak to 34 games with at least one touchdown pass, fourth-best in NFL history. Kolb was just 15 for 27 for 140 yards but was sacked only once, threw no interceptions and made several good passes while rolling out.