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December 20, 2010

The Two-Minute Drill

BIG SHOWS

1. Dan Connolly — The offensive guard's 71-yard kick return to the Green Bay 4 set up New England's second TD of the night and provided a kick-start for a football team in need of one.

2. Aaron Hernandez — The rookie had been a little quiet lately, but when Tom Brady needed a play, he went to Hernandez, who caught four balls for 31 yards and a pair of TDs. He added a 16-yard end around run.

3. Kyle Arrington — His first career NFL interception went for a 36-yard TD on which he busted at least three tackles. It was a huge lift for a football team that reeled for much of the first half.

NO SHOWS

1. Devin McCourty — Beaten for a touchdown on a deep ball early, something that simply hasn't been seen around here all season. Also committed a stupid 15-yard penalty on a helmet-to-helmet hit that helped lead to a Green Bay second-quarter touchdown.

2. Julian Edelman — Muffed a first-quarter punt that could have ended the turnover streak. Not even an afterthought in this offense anymore.

3. Gary Guyton — Packers ran right at him over and over. He made four solo tackles on a night Green Bay ran 80 plays.

GRADING THE GROUPS

OFFENSE

Line (B-) ... Tom Brady got belted on three sacks, but overall there was room to run and time to throw.

Backs (B-) ... The numbers say they delivered 6.5 yards a carry, but they only ran 15 times.

Receivers (C-) ... Deion Branch and Wes Welker only combined for five catches (75 yards). Super day for the rookie, Aaron Hernandez. Brandon Tate doesn't pose any kind of threat as a playmaker.

Quarterback (A-) ... Gets it done again on a weird night. Hit only 15 of 24 passes for 163 yards and a pair of TDs But the 110.2 rating.

DEFENSE

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