Sunday, September 8, 2013
Ups and downs for Patriots
By Mike Reiss
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- An initial glance at players whose performance was in the "up" category in the season-opener against the Buffalo Bills and those at the opposite end of the spectrum (New England Patriots win 23-21):
Up Danny Amendola -- On got-to-have-it plays, he's the go-to guy. Terrific opening performance as he battles through a groin injury.
Kyle Arrington -- Cornerback forces two fumbles that lead to touchdowns by the offense. While he was in coverage on Steve Johnson's touchdown catch, it is hard to tell how much help he should have had from safety Devin McCourty.
Julian Edelman -- Receiver catches two touchdowns as the rapport he's developed with Tom Brady over the last four seasons is evident. He does have a drop late in the third quarter when the Patriots are backed up deep.
Shane Vereen -- Running back comes through on the ground and as a pass-catcher with a strong performance.
Ryan Allen -- Inconsistent showing from rookie punter, as he has a 19-yard effort on a plus-50 attempt in the first half and then can't help shift field position when punting from his own end zone late in the third quarter. He does appear to excel as a holder, gathering in a low, errant snap on Stephen Gostkowski's 48-yard field goal in the first quarter.
Stevan Ridley -- Running back's fumble in the second quarter, as the Patriots were driving with a 10-0 lead, is returned for a 74-yard touchdown and changes the complexion of the game.
Zach Sudfeld -- Undrafted rookie tight end loses his footing coming out of his break on a late second-quarter interception and plays limited snaps.
Kenbrell Thompkins -- Receiver struggles to keep his footing and cannot hold on to a few passes thrown in his direction.