DEFENSIVE LINE: A-
Another outstanding outing by the guys up front. The run defense was stout, allowing barely over two yards per carry on the ground. Tom Brady could not get into a rhythm all night long. Damon Harrison and the crew showed how they are going to be a force to be reckoned with in this league for many years to go.
The Muhammad Wilkerson ankle injury late was a little nerve-wracking, hopefully it is not a high ankle sprain and he is OK when the game against the Bills rolls around next week.
Again, the linebackers must get a lot of credit, along with the defensive line. The defense had a terrific game, for the most part. Any time you hold New England to 13 points, it’s hard to give a grade that is too low. 13 points allowed will win nine out of ten times.
The grade comes down to a “B” because of the middle of the field. Julian Edelman was open over the middle too much, and the linebackers need to do more to take that away. It’s not just about stopping the run game, they have to take out that short pass over the middle as well. 13 receptions for the guy in the slot is too much.
DEFENSIVE BACKS: B+
Going to give these guys a B+ as well. For the most part, they played well, as the rest of the defense did, allowing only 13 points to Tom Brady and company.
However, if you take away all of the mis-communications between Tom and his receivers, their performance doesn’t look anywhere near as good. They allowed 13 catches by the slot receiver, and had a huge breakdown for the only touchdown scored by New England. So, it wasn’t terrible, but it certainly wasn’t an “A”.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B
Nick Folk was fine, as usual. Robert Malone wasn’t the usual weapon he normally is, with at least one shank, and averaging under 40 yards per punt. For a guy with a canon of a leg, this was an off night for Robert. Kyle Wilson, when given the chance to return a punt, returned two for a whopping three yard average. Nobody killed them on specials, but they didn’t do anything exciting either.
What kind of grades did you guys have?