Here are some of the Patriots who stood out as studs in the game yesterday against the San Diego Chargers, and some who were more of a dud.
- Tom Brady – It may be a little unfair to put him here all the time, but he gets it done virtually all the time. Brady threw for 423 yards and 3 touchdowns for a QB rating of 135.7. For the first two games of the season, Brady has 940 passing yards. No QB in NFL history has thrown for that many yards in the first two games of the season.
- Deion Branch – “What? Me worry?” seems to be the quote that best suits Deion Branch. He caught 8 passes for 129 yards against the Chargers. Last week, he caught 7 passes for 93 yards. Not bad considering that there was concern in the media that Deion hadn’t caught a pass in the preseason.
- Rob Gronkowski – Gronkosaurus is a beast. He can block on the line and then go out and catch 4 passes for 86 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has to be among the top 5 pure tight ends in the NFL.
- Vince Wilfork – He only had 2 tackles, but his interception of a Philip Rivers pass was solid gold. He rumbled, bumbled, and stumbled 28 yards in a picturesque return.
- Devin McCourty – This is the second week in a row McCourty is listed in the “Duds” category. I understand that drawing Brandon Marshall and Vincent Jackson/Malcom Floyd in consecutive weeks is a tough assignment, but McCourty was a Pro Bowl corner last season and more is expected of him. He seems to have regressed instead of making progress.
- Leigh Bodden – The pass defense as a whole was pretty poor, but Bodden’s two holding penalties were killer.
- Ras-I Dowling – I actually think that when Dowling has been in, both last week and this week, he has done well. The caveat is, “when he has been in.” Dowling was injured in the first half after missing most of camp with an injury. The knock on him coming out of college was that he was injury-prone. It seems like that moniker is following him to the pro’s.