Sunday, September 22, 2013
Ups and downs for the Patriots
By Mike Reiss
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- At an initial glance, a look at players whose performance was "up" in the Patriots' win over the Buccaneers, and those at the opposite end of the spectrum:
Aaron Dobson -- Rookie receiver bounces back in a big way after a drop-filled debut in Week 2.
Stephen Gostkowski -- Kicker continues to be a weapon with touchbacks and hits from 53 yards at the end of the first half, which ties his career high. Later adds a 46-yard field goal.
Brandon Spikes -- Middle linebacker has his best game of the season in helping limit the Buccaneers' dangerous run game, as one of his highlights is a fourth-down stop that is essentially a turnover.
Aqib Talib -- Cornerback matches up against receiver Vincent Jackson in some critical situations in the first half and comes up with interception late in the second quarter to set up a half-ending 53-yard field goal.
Kenbrell Thompkins -- Rookie receiver bounces back with two touchdowns after a shaky performance in Week 2.
Kyle Arrington -- Cornerback has some struggles in coverage against Mike Williams and, assuming there is no injury, sees his defensive playing time dip in favor of Alfonzo Dennard and later Logan Ryan.
LeGarrette Blount (kickoff returner) -- Patriots not getting the spark in the return game with the 250-pound Blount as the primary option.
Tom Brady -- Quarterback's third-quarter interception in the end zone, coupled with missing a few open receivers, made this performance fall below his usual standard.