Patriots: 10 long-term positives from 2015

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Danny Amendola Patriots
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3. Ascendance of Danny Amendola, Keshawn Martin

With all the injuries the Patriots had to deal with on offense this season, Danny Amendola and Keshawn Martin each deserve credit for stepping up and answering the call.

Amendola had easily his best season as a Patriot on the heels of his unforgettable performance in the 2014 playoffs. The former St. Louis Ram caught 65 receptions (second-most on the team) for 648 yards and three touchdowns.

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In addition, Amendola proved himself as an elite punt returner. His 12 yards per return average was the best in the league.

Surpassing the oft-struggling Brandon LaFell on the depth chart was former Houston Texans receiver Keshawn Martin, who came to New England by way of an early-season trade. Martin proved himself as a reliable target for Brady early on, breaking from the script and getting open for a scrambling No. 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars and catching his first touchdown as a Patriot.

On the season, Martin caught 24 passes for 269 yards and a pair of scores. He also impressed on kick returns, averaging 25.7 yards per return and ripping off a 75-yarder.

The Patriots are fortunate to have two dependable receivers after Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman.

Next: 2. Aggressive safety play from Chung, D-Mac