Here is the latest edition of the New England Patriots’ stock watch after yesterday’s win.
Amendola finally broke out of the rut he had been in, and made some significant contributions to this team. It started on special-teams, as the Patriots decided to try him as the kick returner, and the results were positive. Amendola broke a few good ones, and if he stays in this role, it will only be a matter of time before he takes one to the house. He also caught a huge 19-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, and recovered the onside kick at the end of the game. Huge day for number 80.
Down their two best interior lineman, this group stood tall against one of the best defensive fronts in the league, and played one hell of a game. They gave Brady ample time to throw all game long, and really did not give up one single sack. They struggled a bit in the run game, but New England came out throwing, and that is what was successful for them from start to finish. A lot of props have to be given to the big boys up front.
LaFell is quickly becoming a huge part of the Patriots’ offense, as he has emerged as their top weapon on the outside. LaFell caught four balls for 55 yards in this game, giving the Pats just enough production outside the numbers for them to operate their offense. Look for LaFell to continue to improve as the season progresses, possibly to the point where he becomes a main target for Brady in the postseason.
Stepping in for Stevan Ridley is no easy task, but Vereen did a great job of that last night. He was big in both the running game and the passing game, finishing the contest with 16 total touches, 114 yards, and two receiving touchdowns. Vereen was the second most important player on that offense, next to Brady against the Jets.
I’m not going to bother singling out a specific player, because everybody struggled on defense. The front seven got gashed all game long, and in key situations as well. The Jets ran for 218 yards on 43 carries, which averages out to 5.1 yards an attempt. I know the Pats were coming off a short week, and they had just lost their leader, but this performance was unacceptable.
McCourty got beat for a 29-yard pass to Jeff Cumberland on New York’s first drive, and made a few bad plays in the running game as well. Not a solid effort for the second best safety in the game.