Patriots Cheat Sheet: Week 2 vs Arizona

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Maybe it was far too nice of a Sunday in town (it was) to be watching football inside. Need to catch up on what you missed in yesterday’s Pats game so you can talk about it today at work? The Cheat Sheet has your back.

It takes a lot of creativity to lose the way the Patriots did in Foxborough on Sunday – their first home opener loss since 2001. It was three quarters up against a (not sarcastically typing this) ferocious Arizona defense before a wacky fourth that saw Tom Brady spring his key targets to life in a quest to tie the game.

What happened next is going to be what is discussed this morning, so here’s what you need to know about the end of the game:

The Two Point Conversion Play Was Obvious – Rob Grownkowski got the touchdown hit from Brady, and he had been the target for much of the drive that Brady orchestrated. The TD only brought the Pats within 2 to 20-18, and there were many options for working to get the conversion to tie the game. The obvious one was going back to Gronk. Arizona was ready.

Arizona Shouldn’t Have Gotten Fancy – After the unsuccessful two points, the Cardinals were completely in control. A single first down would ice the game, and they got it just two plays into their respective final drive. With the clock set to run on the snap – and the Pats out of time outs – a simple run up the middle, a QB dive or even taking a knee would have given Brady virtually no time to organize a drive. Instead, Arizona lined up and set up a pitch sweep. The ball miraculously gets loose and the Pats recover in field goal territory for the win. Whoa.

It Was a Weird Final Set of Play Calling – Just about everything happened that could in the next minute. A false start moved the Pats back immediately. Danny Woodhead scrambled for a touchdown that got waved off when Gronkowski got flagged for holding a Cardinal’s shoulder pads briefly on the scamper. Wes Welker caught a ball. Brady took a knee and spiked. And Gostkowski, who had been perfect in four longer field goals, hooked it wide.

I asked last night if I brought my luck from covering the Redskins to the WLBT version of the Cheat Sheet. If so, I apologize.

Next week we’re doing either a Liverpool/Manchester United Cheat Sheet or a recap-you-can-use of the Patriots trip to Baltimore. It’ll depend on which game is less depressing.