New England Patriots Game Grades: Danny Amendola Helps Offense


Here are this week’s New England Patriots game grades:

Passing Offense: B+

They were without three of their best offensive lineman, and their best receiver left the game in the first quarter due to a foot injury. Despite all that, Tom Brady still threw for 334 yards and two touchdowns, and led the Pats on a game winning field goal drive late in the fourth quarter. Rob Gronkowski had a huge play, Brandon LaFell was solid, and Danny Amendola came up big in the clutch in Julian Edelman‘s absence. Amendola caught 10 balls for 79 yards for the game, and had a few key receptions on New England’s final drive. Amendola is going to be very productive in this offense while Jules is sidelined.

Things weren’t perfect however, as without Sebastian Vollmer, Marcus Cannon, and Tre’ Jackson along the offensive line, the Patriots stalled way too many times on offense, and just couldn’t be as effective as they usually are. Once those three lineman come back, Brady’s aerial attack will get back to firing on all cylinders.

Must-read: 11 best moments of Patriots’ 2015 season through Week 11

Rushing Offense: B-

Once again, with how depleted the Patriots are along the offensive line, they couldn’t do a lot on the ground. LeGarrette Blount led the way with 66 yards and a touchdown, but that was about all New England did, as James White (1 carry 5 yards) did not do much as he replaced Dion Lewis as the starting third down back.

Pass Defense: B

It was an up and down day for the Patriots’ pass defense. Eli Manning had a good amount of success targeting Rashaan Melvin and the Pats’ backup linebackers, but struggled against Malcolm Butler and Logan Ryan. Manning finished the game with 362 passing yards, but aside from a bad Devin McCourty angle to start the game, and Melvin being on the roster, I liked how this secondary held up. Butler was particularly impressive, as aside from that opening touchdown to Beckham (which wasn’t really his fault), he completely locked down Beckham. This Butler kid ain’t no one-hit-wonder.

As for the pass rush, it was mostly non-existent, although it was clear the Patriots game-plan was to drop seven or eight into coverage and not blitz Eli. However New England still came up with three sacks, and Rob Ninkovich‘s 13 yard drop of Manning was arguably the play of the game because it took the Giants out of field goal range.

Next: Week 11 AFC Power Rankings

Run Defense: A

80 yards on 23 carries for the Giants, which averages out to only 3.5 yards a carry. Considering New England was without Jamie Collins, the run defense was just fine.