Monday, December 20, 2010
3 up, 3 down for Patriots
By Mike Reiss & Mike Rodak
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A look at three players/units whose performance is "up" and three players/units whose performance is "down" from the Patriots' 31-27 win over the Packers:
Kyle Arrington -- Cornerback registers his first career interception and breaks four tackles while returning it 36 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Dan Connolly -- Offensive lineman rumbles 71 yards with a second-quarter kickoff return to energize the Patriots. It is the longest return by a lineman since that statistic was instituted in 1994.
Aaron Hernandez -- Rookie tight end catches two touchdown passes, giving him six on the season, as the Patriots became the first team in NFL history with two rookie tight ends to record five or more touchdown catches in the same season.
Brandon Meriweather -- Safety takes a bad angle and runs into cornerback Devin McCourty to help spring Packers receiver James Jones free on his 66-yard touchdown catch-and-run in the second quarter.
Pass protection -- Quarterback Tom Brady is moved off the spot on seemingly every play as the Packers' pressure schemes disrupted the rhythm of the offense. Brady is sacked three times and never seemed to get completely comfortable.
Vince Wilfork -- Captain and defensive leader is penalized for offsides that helps extend a long Packers scoring drive in the second quarter and is later is penalized 15 yards for a facemask penalty. On the plus side, he finishes with six tackles to help an undermanned defensive front.