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New England Patriots look bad vs. Arizona Cardinals

How do you make sense of what happened Sunday afternoon in Foxborough?

The New England Patriots were stunned in a 20-18 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, snapping a streak of 10 consecutive victories in home openers.

The Patriots lost despite an all-time gift from Cardinals running back Ryan Williams, whose fumble late in the fourth quarter sent the fans at Gillette Stadium frantically running back to their seats. But Stephen Gostkowski shanked a 42-yard field-goal attempt in the final seconds to let Williams off the hook.

The wild final minutes shouldn't obscure another strong performance by the Cardinals' defense, which has looked like one of the NFL's best units since the close of last season.

Tom Brady rarely appeared comfortable, and the Cardinals' secondary was strong in coverage of a Patriots offense missing Aaron Hernandez, who was lost early in the first quarter with what the team believes to be a high ankle sprain.

Wes Welker, meanwhile, continues to have a mysterious timeshare in Bill Belichick's doghouse. Julian Edelman started over Welker, whose playing time might have been significantly less had Hernandez not went down. The Patriots worked in three-receiver sets after Hernandez left the game.

The Patriots weren't sharp Sunday, something that will have to change with a rematch against the Baltimore Ravens on tap.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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