Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/16/12

FOXBORO, Mass. – No one had to tell the Arizona Cardinals they dodged a major bullet Sunday.

But, as they say, a win is a win is a win.

"It feels so good to have this victory right now," safety James Sanders, a former Patriot, said after Stephen Gostkowski missed a 42-yard field goal with one second left, allowing the Cardinals to escape with a 20-18 victory over the Patriots, their first win in New England since 1984.

"I can't explain the emotions that were going through me during the game," Sanders said. "I'm proud of the guys in this room and happy we came out with the win."

After Rob Gronkowski caught a five-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady and the two-point pass conversion failed with 2:06 left, Arizona running back Ryan Williams fumbled the ball back to the Patriots at the Arizona 30. New England wound up setting Gustkowski up for what would have been his fifth field goal of the day (only his fourth-longest) and he hooked it wide to the left with one second remaining.

"I felt good going out there and it wasn't the smoothest hit," Gostkowski said. "I looked up and saw it was left. Sometimes the ball doesn't fly your way. There's probably not another game where I'd be kore confident going out for a kick like that. It humbles you really quickly."

Danny Woodhead ran 30 yards for an apparent touchdown before the missed field goal, but the play was called back because of a holding penalty on Gronkowski, who was also guilty of a false start on the next play.

Tom Brady, who extended his streak of throwing at least one touchdown pass to 34 straight games, did what he could to deflect the blame from his kicker.

"It's a team game and certainly we shouldn't be leaving it up to that particular situation," he said. " … You miss kicks, you throw interceptions, you fumble the ball, you miss tackles, I mean over the course of a long season those things happen but there's not one play that lost the game. We did a lot of things that allowed us to lose this game.

"We had a lot of opportunity out there to make more plays than we did and hopefully it never comes down to a 42-yard field goal at the end. Hopefully we do a much better job on offense so it's not that kind of game at the end."

In the other locker room, tight end Todd Heap, who left the game late with a knee injury after catching five passes, knows how relieved Williams had to be. "He's definitely happy they missed that field goal," Heap said. "He got us a big first down on that drive, but he knows he almost cost us. When they missed the field goal he was glad he wasn't the last mistake."

The Patriots, whose 10-game home-opener winning streak, the longest current run in the NFL, fell to 1-1 despite rallying from a 20-9 deficit in the final seven minutes.

Backup quarterback Kevin Kolb threw one touchdown pass and ran for another score in helping the Cardinals pull off the road win.

Kolb, playing for the injured John Skelton (ankle), was 15-for-27, his rushing TD coming 56 seconds into the fourth quarter. Gostkowski kicked his fourth field goal, a 53-yarder, to make it 20-12 with 6:50 left; setting up the wild finish.

"The good thing is, it was an ugly game. It wasn't clean for our side, either," Kolb said. "It's not like we played the perfect game. So, we have a lot to improve on and like I said, if you can get those ugly wins checked off in the win column, that's big."

Brady, who threw a touchdown pass for the 34th straight game, finished 26-for-48 for 316 yards, the touchdown and an interception. Wes Welker, limited to three catches last week after going through a contract situation with the team, didn't start but wound up with five catches, while Brandon Lloyd led the Pats with eight.

Jay Feely kicked two first-quarter field goals for the Cardinals, who never trailed.

The Patriots lost tight end Aaron Hernandez to a first-half ankle injury and he didn't return. There was no word on his status.

NOTES: Gostkowski had been 3-for-3, counting postseason, on field goal attempts that either tied the game or put his team ahead in the final two minutes or overtime before missing Sunday. ... The Patriots visit Baltimore while the Cardinals are home for the Eagles next week. ... A first-quarter completion sent Brady past Johnny Unitas and into 13th place on the NFL's all-time passing yardage list. ... Feely's field goals gave him 15 straight dating back to last year, tying him for the third-longest streak in team history. ... Heap's first-quarter catch moved him past Mike Ditka into 12th place on the all-time tight end receiving yardage list. Troy Brown, inducted into to the Patriots' Hall of Fame Saturday, was honored on the field at halftime, just after Wes Welker's 558th reception as a Patriot broke Brown's team record. Fellow club Hall of Famer Drew Bledsoe threw one final pass to Brown, a touchdown.

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