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Cardinals season virtually over after MNF fiasco, Patriots stay alive despite drama

The New England Patriots (7-6) defeated the Arizona Cardinals (4-9) on Monday Night Football at State Farm Stadium to stay alive in the NFL playoff picture.

Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray went down with a season-ending injury in the opening frame, while wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins fumbled a ball that might have cost his team the game.

Bailey Zappe, delighted after his first NFL win@NBCSPatriots

Hopkins, 30, was suspended without pay for the first six games of the 2022 NFL season after violating the league's Performance Enhancing Drug (PED) policy.

He apparently forgot how to take care of the football during his absence, running with his arms flailing around as if he were one of those air-powered giants outside car dealerships.

Patriots linebacker Raekwon McMillan scooped up the fumble and rushed into the end zone to break a 13-13 stalemate in the third quarter.

Patriots defense shuts down Colt McCoy

Colt McCoy replaced Murray at QB and finished the contest with 246 passing yards and an interception on 27-for-40 completions.

The New England defense held Arizona to three scoreless quarters, with running back James Conner scoring the team's only touchdown in the second period of play.

Patriots sacked McCoy six times, holding off the opponent's offense as Mac Jones struggled a bit.

Jones, 24, has struggled all season and is still getting his identity back, finishing the night with no touchdowns, one INT and 235 passing yards on 24-for-35 completions.

Patriots stay alive despite drama

New England overcame a speed bump Monday night when Jones waved off offensive coordinator Matt Patricia.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has four more games to improve his team's record and fix his quarterback's attitude towards the coaching staff.

Even if the Pats defense manages to sneak them into the playoffs, it's hard to imagine they'll make a significant run with Jones underperforming.

Cardinals are virtually eliminated from postseason contention ahead of Sunday's visit to the Denver Broncos. Patriots take on the Las Vegas Raiders on the road that same day.

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