3 up, 3 down for the Patriots

September, 13, 2011
9/13/11
12:33
AM ET
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- A look at three players whose performance stood out for positive reasons, and three players who were at the opposite end of the spectrum:

Up
Tom Brady --
Throwing for a franchise-record 517 yards, he directs a fast-paced offense in finishing 32-of-48 with four touchdowns and one interception.

Nate Solder & offensive line -- A big storyline entering the game, the rookie right tackle responds with a solid wire-to-wire effort as the overall protection is a big part of Brady's record night. "An incredible job," Brady says of the line.

Wes Welker/Aaron Hernandez/Deion Branch/Rob Gronkowski/Matthew Slater -- Together they combine for 29 of Brady's 32 completions for 488 yards. Welker, Branch, Hernandez and Gronkowski are the primary offensive package throughout the game.

Red-zone defense. A bonus "up" for the defense inside the 20, which comes up with a few big stops in key situations, particularly in the third quarter when the unit holds on first-and-goal from the 1, forcing a field goal.

Down
Stephen Gostkowski --
Kicker misses a 48-yard field goal wide to the right at the end of the second quarter.

Devin McCourty -- Second-year cornerback can't come up with interception on a nice break on the ball in the third quarter and has some ups and downs in one-on-one situations. He leads the team with 11 tackles, which usually isn't a good sign for a cornerback.

Overall pass defense -- Chad Henne totals 416 passing yards, although some of those come at the end of the game. Still, the revamped defense doesn't produce enough consistent pressure to make life difficult on Henne.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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