This season, neither the New England Patriots nor the Arizona Cardinals have played like a winning team at full strength. However, on a Monday night in the desert, both teams were depleted of their offensive stars due to injuries, and it was clear that neither has even a remote chance of appearing in Super Bowl LVII on February 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale.
At halftime, the Arizona Cardinals lead the Patriots 13-10. The Patriots lost receiver DeVante Parker (head), running back Rhamondre Stevenson (ankle), and cornerback Jack Jones (knee) in the first quarter of an ugly game that started with a shocking non-contract injury to Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.
New England Patriots
New England also started the game without leading receiver Jakobi Meyers, who suffered a concussion against the Buffalo Bills on December 1.
On the game’s third snap, Murray, who in July agreed to a five-year, $230 million deal, suffered an injury. He was scrambling out of the pocket to his right when he planted his right leg. Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals will miss the rest of Monday night’s game against the New England Patriots.
Murray scrambled for a first-down run after a completed pass and a James Conner run. As he turned upfield, his leg appeared to buckle. Murray was on the ground in obvious pain, and a Patriots player nearby immediately called for medical assistance.
The Cardinals missed a 50-yard field goal on their first drive, but a tipped interception by linebacker Isaiah Simmons set them up in prime field position near the end of the first quarter.
When tight end Hunter Henry was asked to block an edge rusher one-on-one, Arizona’s Cameron Thomas beat him and hit Mac Jones’ arm on the ball’s release. Simmons intercepted it at the New England 36-yard line. The Patriots’ defense held firm, forcing the Cardinals to settle for a 33-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead.
Two rookies helped the Patriots’ comeback and they 7-3 won. Second-round pick Tyquan Thornton gained two first downs through catches and running back Kevin Harris scored on a 14-yard run up the middle to give the Patriots the lead. Conner returned for the Cardinals, and Colt McCoy, a seasoned journeyman, took Murray’s place.
The Cardinals took a 13-7 lead late in the first half thanks to Conner’s 10-yard run. Arizona had five drives inside the 35-yard line of the Patriots but only produced one touchdown. Just before halftime, linebacker Jahlani Tavai stopped a drive with a tipped pass for an incomplete on fourth down. On Monday Night Football, the Patriots defeated the Cardinals 27-13 after scoring 20 points in a row, helped by their strong defense.