The first quarter for the Arizona Cardinals looked like a continuation of the NFC Championship game against the Carolina Panthers.
The Cardinals came out flat, showing little energy on defense and no cohesion on offense.
It wasn’t long before Brandon Williams inexperience was exposed and he was torched for a long touchdown pass from Jimmy Garoppolo to Kevin Hogan.
The Patriots would take their next drive down the field and kick a field goal and just like that it was a 10-0 Patriots lead.
It was not until the second quarter where the Arizona Cardinals would begin to find their rhythm offensively.
It started though, on the defensive side of the ball, as Markus Golden and Rodney Gunter teamed up for a strip sack that led to the Arizona Cardinals first score of the regular season.
That first touchdown was the 99th touchdown catch of Larry Fitzgerald’s illustrious career.
The Patriots went to halftime leading 10-7, but they were going to get the ball back to start the second half.
To start the second half, the Patriots took the ball down the field, and physically imposed their will on the Arizona Cardinals defense.
Trailing 17-7, the Cardinals did nothing to answer offensively, but the defense was able to force a fumble and keep the offense close.
That led to David Johnson’s first of what should be many this season.
The Cardinals now trailed 17-14, but all was not well.
The Patriots continued to be able to push the ball into field goal range and tacked on a 53 yard field goal to take a 20-14 lead.
Arizona drove down to take their first lead of the season on a spectacular catch by Larry Fitzgerald, that resulted in his 100th touchdown reception of his career.
The Cardinals took a 21-20 lead, but again, the Patriots were not done.
Behind first time starter Jimmy Garoppolo, they moved down the field into field goal range, and put one through, taking a 23-21 lead.
That would be the end of the game, as the Arizona Cardinals, with no timeouts, would get Chandler Catanzaro into field goal range, but a bad snap would lead to a late set up and a pushed field goal to the right.
No Brady, No Gronk, missing two starters on the offensive line? Doesn’t matter for the New Engalnd Patriots, as the Arizona Cardinals fall to 0-1 on the season with a 23-21 loss.