There are many different ways to win a football game. But having your quarterback throw for under 100 yards while throwing multiple interceptions usually isn't one of them.
Yet somehow that's exactly what happened for the Patriots Sunday, and even though Cam Newton threw for a career-low 84 yards and a pair of interceptions, Nick Folk sent the Patriots home happy by nailing a 50-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Patriots a 20-17 victory at Gillette Stadium. The kick was the 19th consecutive make for Folk, who is now 19-for-21 this season.
New England was in position to get the win on the late kick after Arizona kicker Zane Gonzalez missed what would have been a go-ahead field goal of his own, a 45-yarder with under two minutes to play.
The victory pushes New England's record to 5-6 on the season and keeps their thin playoff hopes alive.
With the offense once again scuffling, the Patriots' scoring drives were sparked by big plays on special teams and defense, including a huge kickoff return from Donte Moncrief, an impressive punt return from Gunner Olszewski, and an Adrian Phillips interception.
FINAL SCORE: Patriots 20, Cardinals 17
PATRIOTS RECORD: 5-6
Trailing 10-0 late in the first, the Patriots get a spark on special teams, with Donte Moncrief 53-yard return setting the offense up in Arizona territory.
On the ensuing drive, on fourth and two from the Arizona 7-yard line, James White gets into the end zone for his first touchdown of the season, making it 10-7.
Controversy early in the third, as Anfernee Jennings is whistled for a personal foul on this block, negating a Gunner Olszewski punt return touchdown. The Patriots would settle for a game-tying field goal.
After Adam Butler tips the Kyler Murray pass, three Patriots are in position to intercept the ball, and Adrian Phillips finishes it off.
Six plays later, James White scores his second touchdown of the game -- his third career game with multiple rushing TDs -- giving the Patriots their first lead of the game at 17-10.
A 16-play, 80-yard Cardinals drive (aided by several key penalties, including offsetting pass interference flags on Stephon Gilmore and DeAndre Hopkins) ends with a game-tying Kenyan Drake touchdown.
The most unheralded player on the Patriots this season might be Nick Folk, but he seals the victory with the 50-yarder.
Sunday, Dec. 6: at Chargers, 4:25 p.m. (CBS)
Thursday, Dec. 10: at L.A. Rams, 8:20 p.m. (FOX, NFL Network)
Sunday, Dec. 20: at Dolphins, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)