Wilfork among three stars for Patriots

October, 11, 2009
10/11/09
8:47
PM ET

After further review, handing out three stars and three non-stars from Sunday's 20-17 overtime loss to the Broncos:

No. 1 star: Vince Wilfork. Defensive tackle helps control the middle of the line, totals five tackles, and makes third-and-1 stop early in third quarter.

No. 2 star: Chris Hanson. Punter rebounds from last week with a solid effort five punts, 44.4 average, 42.4 net, and two inside the 20.

No. 3 star: Offensive line/pass protection. Outside of Logan Mankins' costly mistake on Vonnie Holliday, the protection was solid against the Broncos, who entered the game leading the NFL with 15 sacks.

And three players on the opposite end of the spectrum:

Logan Mankins: Left guard doesn't win one-on-one battle against Holliday, which results in a strip sack, and also has a costly unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that pushes the team out of field-goal range.

Tully Banta-Cain/Derrick Burgess: Edge rushers don't generate enough pressure out of the standard four-man rush to help the secondary, which was thrown on with relative ease (Kyle Orton had his second 300-yard passing game of his career).

Leigh Bodden: Cornerback finishes with team-high 11 tackles, which reflects that receivers were often catching the ball in his area of the field.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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