QB: A. Brady continued his terrific start to the season with another 400+ yard passing game and three touchdowns. He made good use of all the options he had and made no real mistakes.
RB: B-. An efficient if unremarkable game for Green-Ellis and Woodhead. The highlight came on Green-Ellis’s 16-yard touchdown scamper to put the Patriots up two scores. Only 94 yards from the rushing game, but they were important yards.
WR: A-. Last week, the tight ends were the story, and while they were heavily involved again, Deion Branch stole the show against San Diego. Branch caught eight passes for 129 yards. Gronkowski and Hernandez had great games, too, totaling 11 catches and two touchdowns. Even Ochocinco had two grabs!
OL: B+. Not quite perfect, but a strong game, providing Brady with plenty of time in the pocket and only allowing two sacks against a decent pass rush.
DL: C-. It would be a ‘D’ if it wasn’t for Wilfork’s impressive tip and catch interception. Look at that boy rumble! Still, the pass rush was non-existent, with only two sacks on a quarterback who was taking his sweet time in the pocket—and one of the sacks was from a linebacker. Ryan Mathews also shredded the interior running game on a few plays.
LB: A-. Ninkovich and Mayo both looked very sharp. Mayo had eight tackles, including the crucial one on Mike Tolbert to complete the goal line stand. Ninkovich had a big sack and three tackles of his own.
DB: D. McCourty played superbly in Miami, but he was atrocious against Vincent Jackson. The big Chargers wide receiver had 10 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns while McCourty covered him. The defensive backs did manage to shut down Antonio Gates, but Malcolm Floyd also looked bright before he came off injured.
STs: A. Gostkowski went two-for-two and looked sharp, and Mesko punted well when called on, before having to come off with an injury.
Coaching: A. Belichick adjusted the offensive game plan effectively against a fired up San Diego side. The defense still has a bit of a Jekyl-and-Hyde look to it, but so far, they’ve come up big when it counts.