1. Aaron Hernandez — He probably belongs at the Pro Bowl, too. Caught 7 balls for game-high 138 to make it 79 for 910 on the season.
2. Rob Gronkowski — Had the best season ever for a tight end in NFL history. Deserves votes for NFL MVP. Had team-best 8 catches for 108 yards.
3. Wes Welker — Toughness personified. His ribs were rattled more than once, and he keeps coming back. Caught 6 for 51.
4. Mark Anderson — Three solos, two for loss including his 10th sack of the year. Super end to a strong year.
1. Antwan Molden — Stepped in for Devin McCourty at corner and covered nobody. If Ryan Fitzpatrick was on his game, and Stevie Johnson chose a different under shirt, Molden might have spontaneously combusted out there.
2. Kyle Arrington — He's covering nobody on the other side. Tried to muscle receivers off line. Wound up chasing them all day.
3. Devin McCourty — Not a safety either, folks. He's a corner with low esteem right now. Somebody has to pick this kid's emotions up.
GRADING THE GROUPS
Line (C+) ... You would like to think this group got better after an absolutely miserable opening quarter. Tom Brady got hammered early, and there was nothing early on the ground. Life got better for the offense, but I wonder how much of that had to do with the Bills absolutely quitting en masse in revolt after Stevie Johnson got benched.
Wide Receivers (C-) ... Wes Welker gets an A, once again. Deion Branch played sparingly. And Julian Edelman, Tiquan Underwood and Chad Ochocinco all went softly into that good night, that is without a single catch.
Tight Ends (A+) ... Combined for 15 grabs, 246 yards and three TDs. Simplified the game for a beaten-up Brady and willed this team back from down 21.
Running Backs (B) ... Stevan Ridley ran hard with 81 yards on 15 carries. Still, most of that came against a defense that had moved on to 2012 thanks to their coach. You have to like the kid. Not sure about BJG-E and what he might have to offer come playoff time, although his 53-yard screen catch was very pretty.