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Ronnie Brown has a day to remember (AP)
Game Balls and Goats
1) Ellis Hobbs - Hobbs played well on defense but his special teams contributions would have put New England in the drivers seat had the team been OK on offense.
2) Ronnie Brown - Wow. Nice running, nice ability to make players miss, and good power through arm tackles. Brown finished with 17 carries for 113 yards and four touchdowns. He made the Patriots run defense look like high school kids.
3) Stephen Gostkowski - 2 for 2 and an extra point. Gostkowski has turned a shaky preseason into a solid regular season and remains perfect on the year. If the Patriots need to rely on a field goal at the end of the game, there is no reason now why they should shy away from giving the ball to Gostkowski.
Dolphins playcalling -- In what should be something the Patriots can learn from, the Dolphins outright embarrassed the Patriots defense faking them out time and again with different plays.
Jerod Mayo -- He led the team in tackles (12, 8 solo), even though he was blown out of the hole at the point of attack a couple of times.
Wes Welker -- How can one guy carry the offense every week when he's just supposed to be a slot receiver? Welker finished with 6 catches for 55 yards.
1) New England Defense - Is that what that was called? That was an outright embarrassment. Bill Belichick will be ripping these guys a new one. The tackling was absolutely pathetic. There's no excuses, this team is headed for the trash bin if they don't fix the defense and fast.
2) Third Down Defense - 44% FORTY-FOUR! Ridiculous. We've been saying since the preseason that the Patriots inability to stop opponents on third down would be a problem. It's even in our 5 Reasons the Patriots will lose today!. 44%. Nuff said.
3) Matt Cassel - We tried not to give him one, but he missed so many opportunities, that he deserves it. Pressure or not, Cassel will lead the Patriots into the basement of the AFC east quickly if he can't handle the blitz. Passes behind receivers, missing the checkdown, missing David Thomas deep when he beat the coverage all reasons to give Cassel the goat. Brady wouldn't have that problem, and therein lies the Patriots dilemma.
Patriots offensive line -- Joey Porter told them what he was going to do, and they let him. 4 sacks for 19 yards on the day. Part of the blame belongs to Cassel.
Josh McDaniels - until he proves he can call a game without Tom Brady making him look good, were going to hand a goat or mention his name here. What was up with the middle screen by the goal line. And why weren't there Draws or screen early to throw off the pass rush. Bad plan, poor execution all deserve a bad rating.
Joey Porter -- Because he actually believes his talking was OK.