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3 up, 3 down for the Patriots

1/22/2012

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- After an initial glance, a look at three players whose performance was "up" and three whose performance was at the opposite end of the spectrum in Sunday's 23-20 win over the Ravens in the AFC Championship Game:

Up

BenJarvus Green-Ellis --
Running back helps the Patriots maintain balance on offense with hard-charging runs. He totals 68 yards on 15 carries and 1 touchdown, tapping the "MHK" patch (honoring the memory of Myra Kraft) on his jersey after his score.

Sterling Moore -- One play lands the rookie cornerback in this category, knocking the ball away from receiver Lee Evans in the end zone on what could have been the game-winning touchdown with 22 seconds left. Overall, he has an up and down day, but the Patriots probably don't win without him (and a little help from Evans himself).

Vince Wilfork -- Defensive lineman comes up with big back to back plays on third and fourth down late in the fourth quarter to turn the ball over to the offense with a chance to run out the clock -- first stopping an inside run, and then pressuring Joe Flacco. He is a force throughout, finishing with six tackles, one sack and three tackles for losses as the Patriots bottle up the Ravens' dangerous running game.

Down

Tom Brady --
Tough call to put the quarterback here based on how competitive and tough he is, but even he acknowledges that his performance isn't up to his standard. He is more careless with the ball than the norm, with two interceptions (2 others were negated by penalties). One of the picks comes after a momentum-swinging interception by Brandon Spikes, as Brady throws into double coverage deep to Matthew Slater, a play in which the Ravens deserve credit for terrific execution, but Brady gets scrutiny for his decision-making.

Nate Solder -- Right tackle is beaten by Paul Kruger for a first-quarter sack on first down, which puts the Patriots in long yardage situations as they settle for a field goal. The play highlights the Patriots' struggles in the red zone as they score two touchdowns in five trips, setting for field goals on the other three.

Danny Woodhead -- Running back fumbles a kickoff return in the third quarter, which the Ravens recover and turn into three points.