<
>

3 up, 3 down for the Patriots

10/9/2011

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A look at three players whose performance stood out at initial glance, and three players at the opposite end of the spectrum:

Up

Bill Belichick & challenges --
The Patriots coach, who keeps his challenge flag in his sock, reaches for it twice and is successful both times. Those are key decisions in the game, one preserving seven points, the other forcing a Jets punt that leads to a field goal. That's 10 points right there.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis -- Running back finishes with a career-high 136 yards on 27 carries (5.0 avg.) with two touchdowns, as the Patriots out ground-and-pound the Jets. No one has more rushing touchdowns since 2010 than Green-Ellis (18).

Third-down defense -- The Patriots finish with eight three-and-outs on defense, holding the Jets to 3-of-11 on third down. No one player stands above the pack, but safety James Ihedigbo -- against his former team -- gets a mention for starting and hardly leaving the field (6 tackles).

Down

Stevan Ridley --
Rookie running back is held to 13 yards on 7 carries, and also takes one kickoff out of the end zone, 4 yards deep, and is stopped at the 14 yard-line.

Special teams coverage -- Penalties by Jermaine Cunningham (holding on a punt return) and Dane Fletcher (holding on a kickoff return), and an 88-yard return by Joe McKnight, make this one of the downers of the night.

Thomas Welch -- Utilized as an extra blocker, he is beaten in a one-on-one situation by linebacker Jamaal Westerman, who crunches quarterback Tom Brady from the blindside. Overall, the pass protection is spotty.