Ups & downs from Patriots' win

December, 30, 2012
12/30/12
7:45
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – At an initial glance, a look at players whose performance was “up” and those who were at the opposite end of the spectrum in the Patriots’ win over the Dolphins:

Up
Run defense -- A complete effort across the front seven as the Dolphins are turned into a one-dimensional attack with 47 net rushing yards.

Justin Francis -- Energetic rookie defensive end has a three-sack day.

Steve Gregory -- Safety is opportunistic with a first-quarter interception that changes the complexion of the game and seems to cover more ground than usual, while playing with a physical edge.

Chandler Jones -- Rookie defensive end totals two passes defended, has a tackle for loss, and seems to return to the disruptive presence he was earlier in the season.

Stevan Ridley -- Touchdown runs of 2 and 1 yards, combined with some hard-charging running when the offense is backed up, prove why he’s the No. 1 option.

Wes Welker -- Receiver is the go-to target, and as usual, he comes through when the team needs it most.

Danny Woodhead -- More big plays from the diminutive running back in both the running and passing games.

Down
None -- It wasn’t perfect (is it ever?) but it seems like nitpicking with a home shutout.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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