3 up, 3 down for the Patriots

August, 24, 2012
TAMPA -- At initial glance, a look at three players whose performance was "up" and three players whose performance was at the opposite end of the spectrum in the Patriots' preseason loss to the Buccaneers:

Marquice Cole -- Slot cornerback shows up with a couple of pass breakups and also appears on two of the "Big 4" units on special teams, making his case for a roster spot.

Stevan Ridley -- Running back positions himself for lead duties, totaling 16 carries for 87 yards while showcasing a hard-charging style. While he missed one blitz pickup, he made up for the miscue with his strong running.

Brandon Spikes -- With extensive playing time at middle linebacker, he is a force against the run, proving once again that when he is on the field the defense seems to play with an added spark.

Marcus Cannon -- Right tackle whiffs on a speed rush as Michael Bennett blazes past him to strip-sack quarterback Tom Brady in the first quarter. Perhaps Brady could have got rid of the ball quicker, but Cannon did him no favors.

Julian Edelman -- He might have blocked well in the running game, but he doesn't show up on the stat sheet as a pass-catcher while seeing extended action with Wes Welker not dressed.

Kickoff coverage unit -- Continues to be an issue for the team this preseason, as the tone for the night is set when the Buccaneers take the opening kickoff back 39 yards.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter



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