Sunday, November 11, 2012
3 up, 3 down for the Patriots
By Mike Reiss
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – At an 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’ 37-31win over the Bills:
Up Jermaine Cunningham – Defensive lineman draws his team-high fourth holding penalty of the season and also picks up a sack, offsetting one noticeable miscue, an offsides penalty in the fourth quarter.
Sebastian Vollmer – Right tackle continues his strong play in a one-on-one matchup against Mario Williams, as Williams is quiet once again against the Patriots.
Danny Woodhead – Running back has his first career multiple-touchdown performance and picks up steam in a hurry in delivering some clutch plays.
Devin McCourty -- Safety has a big goal-line strip in the fourth quarter and then is on the receiving end of a game-ending interception on a puzzling Ryan Fitzpatrick pass.
Down Alfonzo Dennard – Cornerback is penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct on a late hit on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and is later closest in coverage on a successful Bills fourth-down attempt in the third quarter, and a big third-down conversion late in the fourth quarter.
Defensive coaches – A tough day all around for the defense, and it extends to the sideline. Everything the Patriots attempt to dial up – such as a blitz near the goal-line – doesn’t produce the desired results.
Dont’a Hightower – Linebacker fails to wrap up on Fred Jackson’s 14-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, and is pushed back at times in the running game.