Sunday, September 18, 2011
3 up, 3 down for the Patriots
By Mike Rodak
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A look at three players whose performance stood out for positive reasons, and three players who were at the opposite end of the spectrum:
Elsa/Getty ImagesTom Brady landed in the 'up' category, again.
Up Deion Branch -- After being held without a catch in the preseason, veteran receiver leads team with eight receptions for 129 yards, following up on a seven-catch performance in the season opener.
Vince Wilfork -- Mammoth defensive tackle records his first career interception, displaying surprising athleticism by returning it 28 yards, stymieing a Chargers drive late in the first half.
Tom Brady -- Following up on a franchise-record setting performance on Monday night, quarterback is impressive again, completing 31 of 40 passes for 423 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions.
Down Devin McCourty -- Second-year cornerback allows two touchdown receptions, struggling to contain Chargers receivers Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd.
Leigh Bodden -- Veteran cornerback is flagged twice for defensive holding penalties, including a third-down call that extended a Chargers drive late in the first half.
Pass rush -- Despite a late strip-sack by defensive end Mark Anderson, the Patriots' pass rush fails to consistently disrupt the Chargers passing game, with quarterback Philip Rivers throwing for 378 yards.