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New York Jets vs. New England Patriots: Full Roster Grades for New England

James ChristensenContributor IOctober 21, 2013

New York Jets vs. New England Patriots: Full Roster Grades for New England

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    But for an obscure new rule and a Nick Folk field goal, the Patriots don't lose this game in overtime.

    Tom Brady wasn't sharp by any means and the injury-riddled defense gave up far too many conversions on third down.

    Ending up nearly a perfect mirror image of the Saints game, the Patriots ended up losing to the Jets 30-27. The Patriots are now just one game clear of the Jets in the AFC East standings.

    Here are the grades for all the Patriots players.

     

Quarterbacks

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    Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

    Tom Brady: D+

    According to ESPN, Tom Brady was a meager 4-of-20 when throwing the ball more than ten yards down the field.

    Unlike many times this year, you can't put it on the rookie receivers, rusty timing or miscommunication. Brady's accuracy just wasn't there.

    Erratic with his touch, Brady overthrew Aaron Dobson a couple of times and underthrew Rob Gronkowski a few more. He also missed wide of his mark on multiple occasions when targeting Gronkowski and Kenbrell Thompkins.

    In a league dictated by quarterback play, the Patriots need to see their signal-caller improve.

Running Backs

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    Ridley was able to gain 50 yards on 11 carries against the Jets, including a touchdown. Ridley ran hard and decisively between the tackles, but there weren't many holes to navigate. 

     

    LeGarrette Blount: C

    Blount had one carry for four yards and was not much of a factor on kickoff returns. He ended with four returns and failed to make it past the 25-yard line on returns.

     

    Brandon Bolden: B

    Bolden played a big part of the Patriots no-huddle offense and ran for a respectable 36 yards on eight carries. Bolden also had a big reception negated by a Gronkowski penalty. If he wasn't already, he should be firmly ahead of Blount on the depth chart.

     

    James Develin: C

    Develin did a decent job in protection and in the run game, but he has failed to be much of a factor. I'm not sure that Patriots fans will see much of the fullback now that Gronkowski has returned and Michael Hoomanawanui can be used in the backfield.

Wide Receivers

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    Julian Edelman: B

    Edelman was consistent when targeted, gaining 44 yards on five catches. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to get open as easily as he was in the first game against the Jets, only earning seven targets. Edelman was again spectacular on punt returns as well.

     

    Kenbrell Thompkins: C

    Thompkins couldn't follow up his heroics against the Saints, catching only two balls for 16 yards. Thompkins had one drop, although you could argue that Brady was at fault on that one.

     

    Aaron Dobson: B-

    Dobson consistently beat his man and caught every good throw from Brady. Unfortunately for Dobson, Brady was inaccurate when throwing in his direction, with two clear misses and two throws that would have been very difficult to pull in.

     

    Austin Collie: C-

    Collie, who kept the Patriots in the game last week, wasn't a big factor against the Jets. He had only one catch despite five targets from Brady.

Tight Ends

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    Rob Gronkowski: B

    Gronkowski was instantly Tom Brady's favorite receiver again, earning 17 targets. However, he only was able to come down with eight catches. If he is able to reel in the one-handed grab late in the game, the Patriots likely win in regulation.

    Despite some inconsistency in the passing game, Gronkowski's blocking was up to his normal standards. 

     

    Michael Hoomanawanu: C

    Matthew Mulligan: C

    With Gronkowski back, Hoomanawanui and Mulligan both failed to earn a target from Brady. Each will primarily be used as in-line blockers as long as Gronkowski is healthy.

Offensive Line

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    Sebastian Vollmer: C

    Nate Solder: C-

    Logan Mankins: C

    Ryan Wendell: D+

    Dan Connolly: C

    Marcus Cannon: C

    The Patriots were up against one of the best defensive lines in the league on Sunday. It certainly showed.

    While the Patriots were able to average a respectable 4.5 yards per carry, the Jets were able to rack up four sacks on the day and generally harass Brady.

Defensive Line

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    Chandler Jones: A

    Jones was phenomenal against the Jets, beating D'Brickashaw Ferguson consistently. He ended the game with 11 tackles, including two sacks. With Wilfork out, expect Jones to see more double-teams going forward.

     

    Chris Jones: C

    Jones' questionable "pushing" penalty that gave the Jets new life is going to get the majority of the press, but his play on defense was interesting as well. Jones registered two more sacks on the day and, despite getting pushed back by Nick Mangold much of the day, ended with ten total tackles. 

    If the Patriots had the depth to just use Jones in passing situations, he would be even more valuable.

     

    Joe Vellano: B-

    Vellano totaled seven tackles on the day, adding a quarterback hit for good measure. Vellano was pretty stout inside and was a big part of Chris Ivory averaging only 3.1 yards per carry. 

     

    Rob Ninkovich: B-

    Ninkovich had a quiet, but effective, game. It has been a couple weeks since he has made a big play, so he is long overdue.

     

    Marcus Forston: C+

    At first blush, Forston looked very good against the Jets, earning two tackles—one for a loss—despite limited playing time.

      

    Michael Buchanan: C-

    Buchanan didn't look great against the Jets, as tackles are beginning to learn that they can expect the speed rush and push him past the pocket. Buchanan needs to quickly develop a speed-to-power-conversion move.

Linebackers

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    Dont'a Hightower: C-

    There didn't seem to be any communication issues on defense, which was a concern with Jerod Mayo out for the year. However, the rest of the game didn't go as well.

    Hightower racked up 11 tackles on the day, but he isn't built to cover tight ends down the field, which is what he is asked to do in Jerod Mayo's absence.

    Hightower was victimized in coverage downfield a few times, and despite one hit, he wasn't able to generate much pressure when rushing the quarterback.

     

    Brandon Spikes: B-

    Spikes was up to his normal bag of tricks, filling up the stat sheet with 11 tackles, including one for a loss. With the middle of the defense decimated, Spikes is going to continue to be asked to plug the holes in the run game.

     

    Jamie Collins: C

    With Mayo out of action, Collins at times was on the field as a "Will" linebacker. He got a bit of pressure on one rush and was decent in the run game and on special teams. The only silver lining to Mayo's injury is getting Collins some meaningful repetitions as a rookie.

     

    Dane Fletcher: C

    Fletcher saw some action at linebacker, notching one tackle. Fletcher could be an option in the nickel going forward.

Defensive Backs

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    Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

    Devin McCourty: A+

    McCourty gave Geno Smith fits. He broke up two plays down the field, nearly had an interception before getting interfered with and was even able to get pressure on a blitz. This might have been McCourty's best game as a Patriot.

     

    Alfonzo Dennard: A

    Dennard didn't pitch a shutout on Sunday, but he played decently filling in for Aqib Talib as New England's top cornerback. His deflection on the Jets' last drive in regulation gave the Patriots a chance.

     

    Steve Gregory: C

    Gregory was called for a big pass-interference penalty and wasn't able to replicate his prior success against the Jets.

     

    Kyle Arrington: C-

    Arrington, who was replaced by Marquice Cole during the game, had a tough time against Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill, giving up first downs and touchdowns early in the game. This is where the Patriots miss Talib, Arrington would have been much better playing the "Star" position.

     

    Duron Harmon: C+

    Harmon took a few questionable angles, but played well overall. If he continues to develop as the season goes on, he and McCourty will make a great tandem for the foreseeable future. 

     

    Logan Ryan: B-

    Ryan had an impressive interception—jumping the route like a veteran—and return for a touchdown, but was outmuscled for a few balls down the field that proved costly. In Talib's absence, Ryan more than answered the bell.

     

    Marquice Cole: C+

    Seeing extensive action over the slot, Cole was able to hold Jeremy Kerley in check for the majority of the second half.

Specialists

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    Stephen Gostkowski: A

    Gostkowski was a rock against the Jets. Not only did he nail a 44-yard kick to send the game into overtime, but his monster kickoffs kept the ball away from the dangerous Josh Cribbs.

     

    Danny Aiken: B

    Aiken had two shaky snaps early in the game. He was able to partially make up for the slow start by remaining clean with his snaps the rest of the way and making a tackle in the return game.

     

    Ryan Allen: A-

    Allen had a good game punting and a fantastic game holding, covering up for two poor snaps by Aiken early in the game. Allen is still working on his touch, sometimes his big leg causes the ball to end up in the end zone for a touchback.

     

    Matthew Slater: B+

    It was lost in the Gronkowski hype, but the Patriots welcomed Slater back to the field as well. He didn't disappoint, adding a solo tackle on special teams.

     

    All statistics courtesy of the Patriots Media Relations Department and the NFL.

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