Game Balls & Goats
Each week we hand out our awards for good performances (Game Balls) and not so good performances (Goats). Awards can be assigned to players, coaches, the officials, whatever strikes our fancy. Read ours and share your own below.
1) Tom Brady – You can't deny greatness. Brady finished by completing 31 of 40 passes for 423 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs. Brady's back-to-back outstanding performances have set a new record in the NFL
2) Vince Wilfork – You may have missed it, but it was Wilfork who held up Mike Tolbert (albeit with his legs) while Jerod Mayo slapped the ball away to force a fumble NE recovered. Add in his tipped Philip Rivers pass, Interception and return into Chargers territory gave Wilfork a night to remember.
3) Patriots Red Zone Defense – Overall the team gave up 470 yards to San Diego, which was bad. But the defense showed up to stop San Diego from scoring at crucial points in the game. Sergio Brown intercepted a pass. Jerod Mayo and Devin McCourty stuffed a Tolbert run at the 1. The defense showed up when it mattered most.
Deion Branch – 129
yards, another big game.
Jerod Mayo – Better defense, nice stop at goal line, and forced a fumble.
Pats fans – For giving a standing O to Ochocinco after his first catch (Showing support despite heavy criticism from former Patriot great Tedy Bruschi this week)
Third Down Defense – Getting worse. The team gave up a first down 10 out of the Chargers 12 attempts (83%). Was a major problem in 2010, remains an issue in 2011.
Leigh Bodden – Was supposed to be the team's top DB. He gave up too many catches to Chargers receivers, drew a pair of flags and neglected to have the impact a starting corner should.
Overall Defense – It is said giving up yards doesn't matter if you don't give up points. True, but not getting off the field could pose real problems for a defense that has been questionable at key moments. Patriots D ranks second to last, slightly ahead of Miami.
or read what others have said (here)