You never know which New England Patriots are going to show up any given Sunday.
Th 2020 Patriots tend to play up and down to their competition, and that was no different Sunday when they went into Week 12 as underdogs but beat the Arizona Cardinals 20-17.
It wasn’t a pretty performance for the Patriots’ offense, but their defense showed up to slow down Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and the Cardinals’ offense.
Here’s who helped the Patriots most as they improved to 5-6:
K NICK FOLK
Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez missed a 45-yard field goal with 1:52 left in the game. Folks nailed a 50-yarder with three seconds left to win it.
DT ADAM BUTLER
Butler was a one-man wrecking crew in his return to the field after missing Week 11 with a shoulder injury.
He had five total tackles, a sack, two QB hits, a tackle for loss and a batted pass that led to an Adrian Phillips interception.
RB JAMES WHITE
The Patriots couldn’t get much going on offense, but James White picked up two touchdowns on five carries for 18 yards.
White saw more work with Rex Burkhead out for the season with a knee injury.
DT AKEEM SPENCE
Spence made his Patriots debut just over a week after signing to New England’s practice squad. He was temporarily elevated for this game, but perhaps could see a full-time promotion.
Spence helped make a key stop on fourth-and-goal before the end of the first half. Linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley and defensive tackle Lawrence Guy also were in on the play.
CB STEPHON GILMORE
Gilmore wasn’t perfect. He was penalized for holding in the red zone and was hit with offsetting fouls when he and Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins both were flagged for pass interference.
But Gilmore let up just three catches on four targets for 26 yards in a difficult matchup with Hopkins. The Cardinals star caught five passes on seven targets for just 55 yards overall. Hopkins also had catches over Bentley and linebacker Terez Hall.
WR GUNNER OLSZEWSKI, DONTE MONCRIEF
Both Olszewski and Moncrief gave the Patriots great field position on key returns.
Olszewski’s officially went for 58 yards before Anfernee Jennings was penalized for an illegal blindside block. Officials ruled that Jennings was blocking towards his own end line when he delivered a shoulder blow into Cardinals linebacker Zeke Turner.
Moncrief also had a 53-yard kick return. That drive culminated in one of White’s touchdown runs.