Commentary

Patriots end-of-season report card

Our grades -- and yours -- for each major contributor to 2013 New England team

Updated: January 22, 2014, 12:26 PM ET
By Field Yates | ESPNBoston.com

The Patriots had another impressive season (12-4), but again fell short of their ultimate goal when they lost to the Broncos in the AFC Championship Game. Now we go player-by-player and assign each major contributor a grade for his performance this season. We invite you to do the same:

Quarterback

T. Brady

Yates: Moments of brilliance were balanced by early struggles. Grade: B+

Your grade?

  •  
    33%
  •  
    57%
  •  
    9%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 4,426)

Running backs

S. Ridley

Yates: Fumbling woes prevented a repeat of his strong 2012. Grade: C+

Your grade?

  •  
    0%
  •  
    18%
  •  
    64%
  •  
    16%
  •  
    2%

(Total votes: 4,036)

S. Vereen

Yates: Blossomed as pass-catcher; missed 10 weeks with injury. Grade: B+

Your grade?

  •  
    14%
  •  
    66%
  •  
    19%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    0%

(Total votes: 3,995)

L. Blount

Yates: Bruiser carried the ground game during homestretch. Grade: B+

Your grade?

  •  
    28%
  •  
    63%
  •  
    9%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    0%

(Total votes: 3,997)

B. Bolden

Yates: Contributed both as a special-teamer and running back. Grade: B-

Your grade?

  •  
    1%
  •  
    23%
  •  
    62%
  •  
    13%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 3,665)

J. Develin

Yates: Brought an edge and toughness to the backfield. Grade: B+

Your grade?

  •  
    18%
  •  
    58%
  •  
    21%
  •  
    2%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 3,616)

Tight ends

Hoomanawanui

Yates: Did about as much as team could ask with skill set. Grade: B+

Your grade?

  •  
    16%
  •  
    62%
  •  
    21%
  •  
    2%
  •  
    -1%

(Total votes: 3,625)

R. Gronkowski

Yates: When he played, he was dominant as a pass catcher . Grade: A

Your grade?

  •  
    50%
  •  
    27%
  •  
    13%
  •  
    4%
  •  
    6%

(Total votes: 2,823)

Wide receivers

J. Edelman

Yates: Simply superb when few expected him to be. Grade: A+

Your grade?

  •  
    97%
  •  
    2%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 3,840)

D. Amendola

Yates: Injuries limited him and didn't meet expectations. Grade: C+

Your grade?

  •  
    0%
  •  
    9%
  •  
    44%
  •  
    38%
  •  
    9%

(Total votes: 3,861)

A. Dobson

Yates: A little bit up-and-down, but promise for future is evident. Grade: B

Your grade?

  •  
    1%
  •  
    43%
  •  
    49%
  •  
    6%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 3,700)

K. Thompkins

Yates: Preseason buzz wasn't met with regular-season production. Grade: C

Your grade?

  •  
    1%
  •  
    21%
  •  
    64%
  •  
    13%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 3,637)

Offensive linemen

N. Solder

Yates: Moments of dominance as blindside protector. Grade: A-

Your grade?

  •  
    49%
  •  
    43%
  •  
    7%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 2,918)

L. Mankins

Yates: A tone setter along the line who earned accolades. Grade: A

Your grade?

  •  
    61%
  •  
    32%
  •  
    6%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    0%

(Total votes: 2,941)

R. Wendell

Yates: Better in 2012 than 2013, but dependable nonetheless. Grade: B-

Your grade?

  •  
    61%
  •  
    32%
  •  
    6%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    0%

(Total votes: 2,941)

D. Connolly

Yates: Sturdy and reliable once again this season. Grade: B

Your grade?

  •  
    7%
  •  
    69%
  •  
    21%
  •  
    2%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 1,862)

M. Cannon

Yates: Versatility helped, but had struggles on right side. Grade: B-

Your grade?

  •  
    7%
  •  
    56%
  •  
    35%
  •  
    2%
  •  
    0%

(Total votes: 1,875)

Defensive backs (cornerbacks and safeties)

A. Talib

Yates: Exceptional when he was healthy. A top cornerback. Grade: A-

Your grade?

  •  
    75%
  •  
    23%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 2,331)

K. Arrington

Yates: Versatile inside/outside corner; struggled at times. Grade: B-

Your grade?

  •  
    2%
  •  
    35%
  •  
    46%
  •  
    11%
  •  
    6%

(Total votes: 2,230)

A. Dennard

Yates: Quietly strong season as the team's No. 2 cornerback. Grade: B+

Your grade?

  •  
    13%
  •  
    67%
  •  
    18%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 2,175)

L. Ryan

Yates: Strong ball skills led to 5 interceptions, most among rookies. Grade: A-

Your grade?

  •  
    52%
  •  
    43%
  •  
    4%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 2,184)

D. McCourty

Yates: Cornerstone who fits everything Patriots want to do. Grade: A

Your grade?

  •  
    66%
  •  
    27%
  •  
    5%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 2,232)

S. Gregory

Yates: A veteran leader who was sound and steady. Grade: B+

Your grade?

  •  
    6%
  •  
    38%
  •  
    40%
  •  
    12%
  •  
    4%

(Total votes: 2,229)

D. Harmon

Yates: Started in place of McCourty, Gregory when hurt. Grade: B+

Your grade?

  •  
    6%
  •  
    59%
  •  
    32%
  •  
    2%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 1,957)

T. Wilson

Yates: Has become virtually just a kicking game player. Grade: C

Your grade?

  •  
    1%
  •  
    4%
  •  
    47%
  •  
    37%
  •  
    11%

(Total votes: 1,966)

Defensive linemen

Chandler Jones

Yates: 11.5 sacks in jump year. Can improve as edge setter vs. run. Grade: A-

Your grade?

  •  
    70%
  •  
    28%
  •  
    2%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    0%

(Total votes: 2,095)

R. Ninkovich

Yates: Leader of a front seven that was battered by injuries. Grade: A-

Your grade?

  •  
    70%
  •  
    27%
  •  
    3%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    0%

(Total votes: 2,049)

M. Buchanan

Yates: Flashed early as rusher, but has development ahead of him. Grade: C

Your grade?

  •  
    0%
  •  
    7%
  •  
    67%
  •  
    24%
  •  
    2%

(Total votes: 1,821)

A. Carter

Yates: Played just a limited role, but leadership was critical. Grade: B-

Your grade?

  •  
    4%
  •  
    45%
  •  
    45%
  •  
    5%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 1,815)

Chris Jones

Yates: Gave all he could in big role. Added interior rush skills. Grade: B

Your grade?

  •  
    13%
  •  
    67%
  •  
    19%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    0%

(Total votes: 1,830)

J. Vellano

Yates: At times overmatched, but always hung tough. Grade: C+

Your grade?

  •  
    4%
  •  
    34%
  •  
    54%
  •  
    8%
  •  
    0%

(Total votes: 1,814)

I. Sopoaga

Yates: Little impact on the field. Good locker room presence. Grade: D+

Your grade?

  •  
    0%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    16%
  •  
    41%
  •  
    42%

(Total votes: 1,842)

S. Siliga

Yates: The most promising of the young interior DL. Grade: B

Your grade?

  •  
    16%
  •  
    65%
  •  
    17%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 1,815)

Linebackers

D. Hightower

Yates: Finished season strong. Had struggles in pass coverage. Grade: B

Your grade?

  •  
    14%
  •  
    68%
  •  
    16%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 1,959)

J. Collins

Yates: Has the looks of a longtime starter for the Patriots. Grade: B

Your grade?

  •  
    33%
  •  
    61%
  •  
    6%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    0%

(Total votes: 2,016)

D. Fletcher

Yates: Strong core special-teamer and depth-level LB. Grade: B

Your grade?

  •  
    5%
  •  
    60%
  •  
    32%
  •  
    2%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 1,794)

B. Spikes

Yates: A force against the run, a liability in pass coverage. Grade: B

Your grade?

  •  
    8%
  •  
    50%
  •  
    32%
  •  
    6%
  •  
    4%

(Total votes: 1,926)

Specialists

S. Gostkowski

Yates: Had perhaps his best season as a pro. Grade: A

Your grade?

  •  
    97%
  •  
    2%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 1,977)

R. Allen

Yates: Rewarded Belichick's faith in turning the job over to him. Grade: A

Your grade?

  •  
    88%
  •  
    11%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    0%

(Total votes: 1,892)

D. Aiken

Yates: Errant snap in Indy game didn't wind up costing team. Grade: A-

Your grade?

  •  
    49%
  •  
    44%
  •  
    6%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    0%

(Total votes: 1,801)

M. Slater

Yates: He's the best coverage special teams player in NFL. Grade: A+

Your grade?

  •  
    96%
  •  
    3%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 2,028)

Coaching staff

B. Belichick, HC

Yates: This was arguably his best work as a head coach. Grade: A+

Your grade?

  •  
    96%
  •  
    3%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 2,028)

B. Belichick, GM

Yates: Built depth to sustain the team's rash of injuries. Grade: A-

Your grade?

  •  
    43%
  •  
    34%
  •  
    15%
  •  
    4%
  •  
    4%

(Total votes: 1,923)

McDaniels, OC

Yates: Found ways to adjust despite personnel turnover. Grade: A

Your grade?

  •  
    38%
  •  
    44%
  •  
    14%
  •  
    3%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 1,839)

Patricia, DC

Yates: Kept things together after losing top two players. Grade: A

Your grade?

  •  
    43%
  •  
    37%
  •  
    13%
  •  
    4%
  •  
    3%

(Total votes: 1,881)


Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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