Three up, three down


NEW ORLEANS -- A look at three players who get a tip of the cap for their performances in the Patriots' 38-17 loss to the Saints, and three players at the opposite end of the spectrum:

No. 1 star: Sam Aiken -- Third receiver sets career highs with seven catches for 90 yards

No. 2 star: Laurence Maroney -- His fumble aside, he's the Patriots' most physical player in a game they mostly have the action taken to them. He totals 64 yards on 15 carries (4.3 average) with two touchdowns.

No. 3 star: Chris Hanson -- In three punts, he averages 46 yards and a 44-yard net.

On the other side, three players whose performances stood out for the wrong reasons:

1. Jonathan Wilhite/Leigh Bodden -- Wilhite is in coverage on Robert Meachem's 38-yard touchdown reception and on a backbreaking 68-yard catch by Marques Colston at the start of the third quarter, while Bodden is targeted on the game's first play for a 33-yard gain.

2. Brandon McGowan/Brandon Meriweather -- On a night in which there are some major defensive breakdowns and the Saints had seven plays of 20 yards or more, it falls on them.

3. Matt Light/Nick Kaczur -- Offensive tackles seem to be back on their heels as the Saints pressure dictates the game from the second quarter on.