Monday, November 23, 2009
Handing out three Patriots stars
By Mike Reiss
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Awarding three stars to top performers in the Patriots' 31-14 win over the Jets:
No. 1 star: Wes Welker -- Receiver just might be Patriots' most valuable player, totaling a career-high 15 receptions for 192 yards.
No. 2 star: Tully Banta-Cain -- Outside linebacker doesn't start but makes the most of his playing time with two sacks, five tackles, a tackle for a loss and a forced fumble.
No. 3 star: Leigh Bodden -- Cornerback intercepts three errant Mark Sanchez passes and returns one for a touchdown, as he is the beneficiary of some erratic quarterback play.
And at the opposite end of the spectrum:
No. 1: Punt team -- Blocked punt recovered for a touchdown -- which could have been the result of being without personal protector Sam Aiken -- is one of the downers. [Updated 11:50 a.m. -- Belichick said the personal protectors, Pat Chung and Julian Edelman, got the job done.]
No. 2: Jonathan Wilhite -- Cornerback is in coverage on a 29-yard touchdown hookup from Sanchez to Jerricho Cotchery.
No. 3: Bret Lockett -- Safety is called for two penalties on special teams, an illegal blindside block (declined) and illegal hands to the face.