EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


December 24, 2012

Patriots 23, Jaguars 16: Hector Longo's Two-minute Drill


1. Michael Hoomanawanui – Not all year did I believe this guy would lead the big shows. But this lifelong backup tight end caught two huge balls for 46 yards, delivering at the right time for a football team in serious need.

2. Stevan Ridley – Nice little bounce back effort from fumble boy. He ran 18 hard carries for 84 yards. They probably should have stuck the ball in his gut all afternoon.

3. Wes Welker – Ten more catches (88 yards) sent him past Jerry Rice on the list of all-time 10-grab games. He’s still money and deserves a contract.


1. Jerod Mayo – Nobody missed Brandon Spikes more, as Mayo got shoved back into the washing-machine spin cycle inside again with little success. Five solo tackles, yes fewer than Marquice Cole and Kyle Arrington. Thank goodness Pats fans again stuffed the ballot box so this guy makes the Pro Bowl.

2. Tom Brady – He’s getting pummeled in the pocket, and he’s playing like he doesn’t like it. Who would? His 3 of 9 start put this football team in a hole that should have been deeper. Luckily, it wasn’t. Finished a blasé 24 of 41 for 267 yards (6.5 per attempt) with two picks and a pair of TDs.

3. Dan Connolly – I watched him get stung the worst for one of the three sacks on Brady, so he takes the blame for a sub-par performance up front by the offensive line. Just not a good day. The third straight week their QB took a pounding.

4. Chandler Jones – The rookie was headed for the top spot, before his late pressure barrage. Yeah, he gets points for playing hard at the end. But you can’t disappear for 58 minutes, again as Chad Henne and the 31st-rated offense in the game is chewing you up.

5. Pat Chung – On fourth down, you don’t intercept the pass and risk a fumble. You knock it down. But our hero then had to get his pick, then dance and dash, forcing a potential injury situation to teammate Trevor Scott, one that Vince Wilfork tried to retaliate for, costing his team a penalty – again all that could have been avoided if Chung just lets the ball fall to the ground.

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