]()The Patriots offense was hitting on all cylinders in this one, with 486 total yards, 157 on the ground and 329 through the air. Meanwhile, its defense held the Cardinals to a lone field goal. It was complete domination as the Patriots held on to the ball for over 42 minutes. Matt Cassel continued to show signs he is indeed worthy of being Tom Brady's backup with a 14 of 20 showing for 192 yards and 2 touchdowns.
On defense Tully Banta-Cain had a strong showing with 3 tackles and a sack during his time with the ones.
The all important preseason game first drive ended with a 37-yard Gostkowski field goal. The drive started on the New England 29 and ended on the Arizona 14. The Patriots used any number of receiving combinations, subbing in and out Kelvin Kight, Bam Childress, Kevin Faulk, Reche Caldwell, Willie Andrews, Benjamin Watson, Daniel Graham and Garrett Mills. It was Faulk who kept the drive alive with a 25-yard scamper off a short pass from Brady on third and 8 from the 45.
On defense, Mike Vrabel started the game at inside linebacker alongside Barry Gardner. On the outside, Rosevelt Colvin flipped to the left side while Tully Banta-Cain claimed the right side. It was Banta-Cain who had a 9-yard sack of Kurt Warner to force a third and 14 for the Cardinals on Arizona's first try. Two plays later the Cardinals punted, a successful start for the New England defense.
]()Brady made it to the Cardinals red zone on his second drive but again fell short of six points. Laurence Maroney made his debut on the night and immediately knocked off a 12-yard run to take his team into Arizona territory. On the next play, Childress made a beautiful catch down the right sideline despite being shielded by his defender. At the last moment, Childress snatched the ball out of the air for a 29-yard pick-up. From the 15-yard line the drive stalled and Gostkowski nailed a 33-yarder for a 6-0 Patriots lead.
The New England defense started its second stand of the game in a 4-3. Left to right was Ty Warren, Vince Wilfork, Mike Wright and Jarvis Green. Arizona managed one first down, a short third and 2 pass to JJ Arrington from Warner. Two plays later, Warner looked to Larry Fitzgerald down the left sideline but Asante Samuel was step for step with Cardinals receiver and made the pick, returning it to his 35.
Late in the second quarter, Brady's offense scored its first touchdown of the preseason on a 4-yard Dillon run. Brady mixed Maroney runs with passes to Watson (10, 18 and 7 yards) and Childress who again impressed with a 20-yard catch. Faulk chipped in with a 14-yard draw on third and 6, a 7-yard run and a 6-yard catch down to the Arizona 11. It was a solid 15-play, 86-yard drive lasting 8:06.
Brady ended the night 15 of 20 for 149 yards.
With 1:09 left in the first half, quarterback Matt Leinert made his first appearance as a Cardinal and with the Patriots in prevent defense, hit Arrington with a 11-yard pass. But it was with his legs that the rookie first-rounder did the most damage with scrambles of 16 and 13 yards. With 4 seconds left he had his team on the Patriots 31 where Neil Rackers banged home a 48-yard field goal to make the halftime score 13-3.
Matt Cassel took over the quarterback duties in the second half and on his second drive passed his way down to the Cardinals 19-yard line. Troy Brown entered the game for the first time, perhaps to give Cassel an experienced target, and he helped Cassel with catches of 12 and 19 yards. Patrick Cobbs continued to make preseason plays with a 19-yard reception. The drive resulted in a 37-yard Gostkowski field goal and a 16-3 Patriots lead. The field goal made Gostkowski 3 for 3 on the night. He also handled all the kickoff duties.
New England's offense received little rest as Eric Alexander forced Michael Spurlock to fumble the ensuing kickoff. Randall Gay picked up the loose ball and returned it 10 yards to the 9-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Cassel hit Heath Evans in the left front corner of the end zone for the quick strike.
With the Cardinals unable to get anything going on offense, New England went up 30-3 on a 5-yard pass to Rich Musinski. Cassel had a third and 12 pass deflected into the arms of Childress who took it 26 yards to the 4-yard line. Evans was just short of the goal line on his effort and a false start on Brandon Gorin pushed the ball back to the 5. From there, Cassel hit Musinski over the middle for the score.
John Navarre replaced Leinert (4 of 11, 45 yards) and was picked off by Eric Warfield in his first series. Warfield was leveled on the return, fumbled and Carlyle Holiday of the Cardinals recovered for the first down. Navarre never came close to a receiver after that and once again Arizona punted.
Cassel took over on his own 4 after the punt and had a decent drive going. Eddie Berlin had a 13-yard catch and defensive back turned receiver Willie Andrews had one for 17 yards. New England turned it over when Cobbs took a handoff up the middle and just lost the handle. The ball spurted forward and Arizona recovered at its own 39.
The Cardinals offense continued to sputter and New England took over at its 20 after the punt. Cassel went right back to work, first handing the ball to Evans who barreled his way to gains of 9 and 12 yards. Then, Cassel looked downfield and floated a beautiful pass to Dave Thomas good for 32 yards. That was it, though. After Cobbs ran for 5 and Mills caught a 7-yard pass, New England was able to kneel its way to the end of the game and the 30-3 win.
Prior to action the Patriots announced the following players would not suit up: John Stone; Chad Jackson; Patrick Pass; Rodney Harrison; Ray Ventrone; Gemara Williams; Freddie Roach; Monty Beisel; Tedy Bruschi; Le Kevin Smith; Nick Kaczur. Walter Rasby was released earlier in the week.