3 up, 3 down for Patriots

September, 25, 2011
9/25/11
5:43
PM ET
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- An initial look at three players whose performance was "up" and three whose performance was "down" in Sunday's 34-31 loss to the Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium:

Up
Kyle Arrington --
Cornerback plays extensively in the slot in the nickel defense and finishes with two interceptions, his playmaking one of the bright spots on the day for the defense.

Rob Gronkowski -- Tight end looks like a Pro Bowler, finishing with seven receptions for 109 yards and two touchdowns. His receiving yardage total would have been higher if not for a penalty on offensive tackle Nate Solder for illegal hands to the face, which wipes out a 35-yard catch in the second quarter.

Wes Welker -- The 30-year-old receiver can't do anything more with 16 catches for a franchise single-game record 217 yards. When the Patriots face a "got-to-have-it" play, Welker is usually on the receiving end.

Down
Josh Barrett/Sergio Brown --
Safeties start and play throughout the game with Patrick Chung out with a right thumb injury, and both have costly plays -- Brown with pass interference in the end zone that negates an interception, and Barrett with a missed tackle on Fred Jackson on the 38-yard catch-and-run that sets up the game-winning field goal.

Devin McCourty -- Another tough day at the office for the second-year cornerback, who is beaten for an 11-yard touchdown by Stevie Johnson and is targeted often with success. He leads the team with 11 tackles, which is usually a statistic a cornerback doesn't want to be leading.

Chad Ochocinco -- He is the intended receiver on a Tom Brady interception at the start of the third quarter and also drops a would-be touchdown pass on a beautiful Tom Brady throw late in the fourth. The Brady-Ochocinco connection isn't where many thought it would be at this point.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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