Guyton fills Spikes' void and delivers

December, 12, 2010
12/12/10
9:15
PM ET
CHICAGO -- With rookie inside linebacker Brandon Spikes serving the first game of his four-game suspension Sunday, the Patriots needed someone to step into his role on first and second down.

Gary Guyton did that, and more.

Guyton, the third-year linebacker, scooped up a second-quarter fumble and raced 35 yards for a touchdown to give the Patriots a 21-0 lead. In the third quarter, he added an interception.

While Guyton stepped into Spikes' role, he also stayed on the field on third down, which has been what he's done all season. He was one of the defensive stars of the day, playing a full-time role.

"Gary did a great job for us," coach Bill Belichick said. "He has played well for three years and he does a lot of things for us. It's always good to have him in the game."

Of his second-quarter fumble return, Guyton credited cornerback Devin McCourty for making it happen.

"It was a great play by Devin, he came in and stripped the ball away," he said. "The ball was just rolling by itself. I was looking at the ball and looking at the goal-line. There was nobody [there] so I just scooped and scored."

The return was Guyton's second touchdown of the season, as he had a 59-yard interception return for a score in the season opener against the Bengals.

On the third-quarter interception, Guyton said, "I was backpedaling and reading the quarterback. I was him looking to his right, my left, and he threw the ball. I made a good break in the snow and made the play."

Of the overall effort, Guyton said, "They asked me to step up and it felt good to make some plays."

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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