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Sunday, January 13, 2013
Ups and downs from Patriots' win

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- At an initial glance, a look at whose performance was "up" in the Patriots' win over the Texans, and those at the opposite end of the spectrum:

Up
Tom Brady -- Becomes the NFL's winningest all-time playoff quarterback (17) with a strong, mistake-free performance -- 25-of-40 for 344 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Offensive line -- Left tackle Nate Solder, left guard Logan Mankins, center Ryan Wendell, right guard Dan Connolly and right tackle Sebastian Vollmer keep Brady clean and open big holes in the running game.

Shane Vereen -- Running back plays a career high in snaps in replacing the injured Danny Woodhead and delivers with three touchdowns (1 rushing, 2 receiving). Finishes with seven carries for 41 yards and adds five receptions for 83 yards.

Wes Welker -- Receiver totals six catches for 120 yards in the first half. Ends the game with eight catches for 131 yards.

Vince Wilfork -- Defensive lineman controls things up front, helping the Patriots control the line of scrimmage and limit running back Arian Foster.

Down
Kickoff coverage -- Unit comprised of RB Brandon Bolden, LB Niko Koutouvides, LB Mike Rivera, S Nate Ebner, WR Matthew Slater, S Tavon Wilson, CB Kyle Arrington, S Devin McCourty, CB Marquice Cole, LB Tracy White and K Stephen Gostkowski give up a 94-yard return to open the game, then another big one near the end of the second half.