Saturday, January 11, 2014
Ups and downs for the Patriots
By Mike Reiss
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- At an initial glance, a look at who is "up" and who is at the opposite end of the spectrum in the New England Patriots' divisional-round playoff win against the Colts:
LeGarrette Blount -- Running back totals four touchdowns, including a 73-yard scoring jaunt in the fourth quarter. The four rushing touchdowns sets a franchise record as the offensive line, tight ends and fullback James Develin also get a tip of the cap for opening the holes.
Jamie Collins -- Rookie linebacker rises up to the challenge with extended opportunity after Brandon Spikes is placed on season-ending injured reserve, as Collins is all over the field.
Alfonzo Dennard/Aqib Talib -- Starting cornerbacks don't win every one-on-one challenge, but are generally up to the task as Talib lines up across from T.Y. Hilton consistently and Dennard opens the game with a big interception and ends the game with one as well.
Stephen Gostkowski -- Kicker does an admirable job filling in for injured punter Ryan Allen.
Danny Aiken -- Snapper fires a delivery over the head of punter Ryan Allen in the second quarter that results in a safety.
Kyle Arrington -- Nickel cornerback is replaced by rookie Logan Ryan near the end of the second quarter after having some struggles in the slot.
Devin McCourty -- As the last line of defense, second-team All-Pro safety lets LaVon Brazill get behind him for a 35-yard touchdown.