Kyle Arrington breaks up pass to Graham (USATS)
The Patriots knocked the Saints from the ranks of the unbeaten on a last second TD pass. Who did well, and who didn't? We hand out our Game Balls & Goats.
1) Tom Brady -- Fourth quarter comeback
after throwing the late INT. His 38th fourth-quarter comeback. Passed Fran Tarkenton for 4th most TDs (342) in a career.
2) Kenbrell Thompkins -- Game winning catch.
Continues to show why the team had faith in keeping an undrafted rookie instead of trading for (or re-signing) veteran wideouts.
3) Patriots' Secondary -- Aqib Talib and
Kyle Arrington had an equally impressive outing as they matched up against the Saints wideouts. Alfonzo Dennard (5-foot-10) mistimed a jump allowing Kenny Stills to snag the pass that put the Saints up by one, but came up huge by out-jumping the 6-foot-4 Marques Colston at the
pylon to force the Saints to kick the FG late in the game rather than
get a TD to put things out of reach.
Coaching (game-planned Saints weapons out of the picture), Fans (those
who stayed to see the final drive), 98.5 Radio Call (Scott Zolak), Kyle
Arrington, Julian Edelman (Took a huge hit on final drive and amazingly
held onto the ball), Stevan Ridley (2 TDs), Stephen Gostkowski (54-yd
FG), Michael Hoomanawanui (Gronk who?), Austin Collie (2 huge catches on final drive).
1) Injury Bug -- Danny Amendola, Jerod Mayo, Talib,
2) Jimmy Graham -- no catches? Graham had
three (or more) passes in his hands that he allowed a defender to smack
out of his possession to negate a big play. One was Talib over the middle on a crucial Saints drive, another was Arrington who punched it
out at the goal line.
3) Dropsies -- New England receivers continued to drop catchable balls, putting the team in desperate straits.
Aaron Dobson's drop on fourth down with the Patriots going for it from inside their own 30 was especially hurtful.
Fans (Those who left early), Pregame power rankings (The ones that said the Patriots are done), Rob Gronkowski (for being a distraction on game
day despite not playing)