3 up, 3 down for Patriots

February, 6, 2012
2/06/12
1:08
AM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- At an initial glance, a look at three players whose performance was "up" and three players who were at the opposite end of the spectrum:

Up
Mark Anderson --
Can't ask for much more from the defensive end, who totals five tackles, 1.5 sacks and registers a tackle for a loss.

Kyle Arrington -- Cornerback moves into the slot and does fine work against the dangerous Victor Cruz (4 catches, 25 yards, TD). He is also a presence in run support.

Aaron Hernandez -- Tight end finishes with eight catches for 67 yards and a touchdown. He is targeted a team-high 14 times, with quarterback Tom Brady looking more in his direction since Rob Gronkowski is not at 100 percent.

Down
Tom Brady/Wes Welker connection --
With plenty of attention placed on the second-and-11 play late in the fourth quarter that Welker couldn't come up with it -- and could have helped put the game away -- both players land here because it wasn't a great throw and it was a makeable catch. Brady and Welker have done great work together, but in the critical moment the duo didn't deliver.

Antwaun Molden -- Cornerback comes on in sub packages and is beaten on a few in-cuts that resulted in long gains, with Eli Manning seemingly targeting him.

Rob Ninkovich -- While providing a spark as a pass rusher, an offside penalty on third-and-7 early in the fourth quarter negates a stop at the Giants' 11. It sets up a third-and-2 that the Giants convert and winds up shifting field position in a big way.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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