A look at both the good and bad individual performances from the Patriots 31-21 win against the Denver Broncos.

Stevan Ridley’s fourth quarter fumble did not take away from his performance Sunday afternoon. (FILE:USPresswire)


The Running backs  – Ridley and Bolden had another great week combining for 42 carries, 195 yards and a touchdown. Woodhead came through with two huge plays, including converting a huge third and 17. Great balance for an offense that had a team record 35 first downs.

Wes Welker – Welker was tremendous on Sunday. Brady and him were in sync and Denver could not find an answer. His nine first half receptions was a career high. He finished with 13 catches for 104 yards a touchdown. He leads the AFC with 38 receptions and is tied with Harvin for 2nd in the NFL; Tony Gonzalez is first with 39.

Tavon Wilson – Does anyone agree with me that Tavon Wilson has been far and away New England’s best safety this year? I would say it is a close call between him and McCourty, although McCourty’s head scratching penalties make is close. Wilson plays with an edge and fire that I love, similar to Brandon Spikes. A lot better than I expected him to be at this point of his young career.

*Honorable Mentions: Alfonzo Dennard – The rookie defensive back was active for his first career game and he made the most of it. Dennard did a great job tackling and in coverage. I loved him coming out of Nebraska and I believe he has earned a role with this team moving forward.

Rob Ninkovich – For the second straight week, Ninkovich has a strip sack. I was skeptical of his ability to play the left defensive end position to start the season, but he has stepped up his game the past few weeks setting the edge and creating pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Tom Brady – Brady had a great game, even though the statistics don’t necessarily support that statement. He only had three incompletions in the first half and was on target during the contest. For those keeping track at home, he finished 23 of 31, for 223 passing yards and a touchdown. He also had a rushing score on a QB keeper.

Crazy to think that at this point of the 2012 NFL season Tom Brady has more rushing touchdowns than Titans Running back Chris Johnson.



Ryan Wendell – Wendell had a game to forget on Sunday afternoon. He struggled protecting Brady in the pocket and also had a terrible holding call late in the game.

Devin McCourty – The defensive captain was flagged for pass interference in the end zone, leading to a touchdown and beaten a few times throughout the day. It’s not always the right technique as a defensive back to look back at the ball, but McCourty really has to do a better job.

Pass rush – I am surprised how bad the Pats four-man rush has been this season. The team needs to blitz and get more creative  more moving forward. The defense did not get a lot of pressure on Manning and the secondary was hung out to dry.

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