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Patriots shutout Cardinals 31-0

Drew Bledsoe threw for three touchdowns, two to running back Curtis Martin, as the patriots rolled to a 31-0 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. It was the first shutout and the most lopsided victory for the Patriots since lowing out the Indianapolis Colts 38-0 (12/26/93). The Patriots defense limited the Cardinals to 170 total net yards, including just 46 yards rushing, their best effort since the shutout victory overt the colts in 1993. In addition, the defense stymied Cardinals quarterback Boomer Esiason, who connected on just four of 12 attempts for 22 yards and threw two interceptions before being benched in the third quarter. In all, the defense accounted for three interceptions for the second consecutive week and allowed just 86 total net yards through the first three quarters.

Bledsoe powered the Patriots offense, which with 384 total net yards, their best performance of the season. Bledsoe earned Miller Lite Player of the Game honors for his performance, as he completed 21 of 35 attempts for 221 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. Yet, it was his 2-yard run on 4th-and1 that may have had the greatest impact on the game. The diving run extended a drive witch led to a 2-yard touchdown pass to Ben Coates with just 20 seconds remaining in the half to give the Patriots a 20-0 lead.

Martin scored a career-high three touchdowns to tie a franchise record and finished the game with 125 net yards in just three quarters of action. In all, hr rushed for a season-high with 92 yards and a touchdown on 27 caries and added another season high with fice receptions for 33 yards and two touchdowns to earn Staples Star of the Game.

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