3 up, 3 down for the Patriots

January, 1, 2012
1/01/12
6:19
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A look at three players/units whose performance was "up" and three players/units whose performance was at the opposite end of the spectrum:

Up
Rob Gronkowski --
Tight end sets the NFL record for most receiving yards in a season for a player at the position, finishing with 108 yards and two touchdowns on eight catches.

Aaron Hernandez -- Tight end is the most dynamic offensive player in the game, particularly after the catch, as he totals 138 yards on seven receptions and one touchdown; adds two rushes for 26 yards.

Sterling Moore -- Replaces Kyle Arrington at right cornerback in the nickel to open the second half and comes up with two interceptions in the final 30 minutes.

Down
Kyle Arrington --
Cornerback is in coverage on Stevie Johnson's 18-yard touchdown pass and later can't break up a 29-yarder up the left side to Derek Hagan, with the coaching staff replacing him in the nickel for the first two series of the second half.

Antwaun Molden -- A 47-yard pass interference penalty on the Bills' opening drive brings the ball to the 4 and sets up a touchdown; Molden has some other early struggles before rebounding with a late interception.

Punt return unit --On fourth-and-1, gets beaten on a fake on the Bills' opening drive, which sets the tone for a first quarter in which the Patriots are outscored 21-0; unit consists of Sterling Moore, Malcolm Williams, Antwaun Molden, Matthew Slater, Sergio Brown, Gary Guyton, Lousaka Polite, Dane Fletcher, Niko Koutouvides, Stevan Ridley and Julian Edelman.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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