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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 DennardCornerback 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.