PATRIOTS REPORT CARD WEEK 5
QB: B+. For the first time in the season, the Patriots ran the ball more than they threw it. This allowed Brady to take a backseat in the game, but he was still effective and reliable, throwing for 321 yards and a touchdown and making few mistakes.
RB: A. BenJarvus Green-Ellis had a career day, rushing for 136 yards and a touchdown. There was one point in the game where Benny was seen kneeling on the field, catching his breath as the game went to a commercial break. Never in his Patriots career had the Law Firm been so heavily used; never in his career has Green-Ellis fumbled in the Patriots uniform.
RECEIVERS: B-. Welker had a quiet day under the coverage of Darrel Revis, excluding a 73-yard dash that nearly ended in the end zone when Revis left him to the safety. Deion Branch had a solid day, including a special touchdown where he roasted Antonio Cromartie. Ochocinco chipped in with two catches.
OL: A-. These guys are the most consistent performers on the team. Left Brady with plenty of time when he dropped back to past, and opened big gaps for Green-Ellis all afternoon. Brady was sacked four times, which is a big number, but the Jets defense is dangerous, and Brady takes his sweet time.
DL: B-. Still underperforming in the pass rush, but held the run game to a quiet day. Wilfork and Carter were both solid, and Mark Anderson had a sack and half. Haynesworth was back from injury, but had no tackles and looked slow.
LB: C. Jerod Mayo, an emotional leader on the field, was injured and was missed. Gary Guyton did reasonably well in his absence, but the other LBs looked out of sorts on a number of plays.
DB: B. The secondary had their best day of the season thus far, only allowing 166 yards and two touchdowns to the Jets passing offense. With that said, the Jets inexplicably chose to continually try and run on the Patriots defense, despite the fact that the Patriots pass defense was the worst in the league entering the game
STs: C-. Kick defense was atrocious in this game. The Jets’ Joe McKnight missed a kick return TD only because of McCourty’s hustle, but McKnight still went for 88 yards. He had another return for 43 yards. Without these big chunks of field position, maybe the defense could have had an even more impressive game.
COACHING: A-. Coach Belichick was stellar in the latest installment of this heated rivalry, overturning two pivotal plays with challenges and perpetuating the offensive balance that the Patriots are trying to achieve.