Matt Cassel was born in California and played college football at USC, yet he faired much better than his counterpart, Iowa native Kurt Warner, in the freezing rain and snow falling at Gillette Stadium. While Warner struggled to complete just 6-of-18 passes for 30 yards, Cassel totaled 345 yards and three touchdowns before he was replaced by rookie Kevin O'Connell in the fourth quarter.
Both teams looked to establish the run early, but the Cardinals couldn't move the ball in the snow. The Patriots won the coin toss but deferred to the Cardinals, whose seven runs on their first nine plays amounted to consecutive three-and-outs. Arizona running backs Edgerrin James and Tim Hightower finished with 36 yards on 14 carries, while New England's backs totaled 170 yards on 37 carries, including New England's first two touchdowns by LaMont Jordan and 88 yards from Sammy Morris.
The Patriots won for the 12th consecutive time in December. ... New England is 10-0 at home when snow is falling at kickoff. ... The Cardinals haven't scored a first-quarter touchdown in all seven of their losses this season. ... Arizona finished the season 0-4 on the East Coast. ... Matt Leinart replaced Warner in the third quarter and finished with 138 yards and a touchdown on 6-of-14 passing. ... Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin was inactive due to a shoulder injury.