New England Patriots
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Sunday, January 20, 2013
Ups and downs for the Patriots
By Mike Reiss
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – At an initial glance, a look at Patriots players whose performance was “up” in the AFC Championship Game, and those at the opposite end of the spectrum:
– Cornerback plays the deep ball well and is competitive in coverage, as he flips to the left side when Aqib Talib leaves with a thigh injury after two series.
–Makes one big mistake – failing to go out of bounds at the end of the second quarter that forces the Patriots to burn a timeout – but is otherwise one of the team’s top playmakers.
– His third-quarter drop is a turning point, but he is otherwise excellent, as both a pass-catcher and punt returner.
– Quarterback doesn’t play his best, with mismanagement at the end of the second quarter one of the downers.
– Tough assignment to cover tight end Dennis Pitta on Pitta’s 5-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter, and the Patriots are hurt in the middle of the field.
– Although he finishes with double-digit tackles, linebacker is a step behind in coverage against tight end Dennis Pitta and also is penalized for being offside in the third quarter.