1. Shane Vereen — Became the offense when Gronk went down. At one point, he carried the ball or was thrown to on seven straight downs. Finished with 12 big catches for 153 yards, 11-for-150 coming after halftime. Explosive, uncoverable, but can he play every down and remain healthy for the playoff run?
2. Rob Gronkowski — Makes the supreme sacrifice by putting his body on the line for a 21-yard catch downfield that might have ended his season. Two catches for 32 yards, but the kid laid it on the line. Warrior, through and through.
3. Tom Brady — Look, the guy took a beating all day and still threw for 418 yards. It was loathsome early, but he competes like no other human on the planet. Went 16 of 20 in the fourth quarter for 142 yards and two TDs. Yeah, I like the kid a little bit.
1. Ryan Wendell — Swallows the cyanide pill for the entire offensive line, which allowed for six QB hits on Brady and four sacks. He’s getting destroyed too often inside, but he was not alone as Logan Mankins, Nate Solder and Will Svitek surrendered sacks as well.
2. Aqib Talib — Shut up and cover. With Jason Campbell tossing the pill, Josh Gordon catches seven balls for 151 yards and a TD. Remember when you people called him a shut-down corner?
3. Dont’a Hightower — Forget the numbers on your side (7 solos, 4 assists), and I will forget them on mine (Cleveland gained an average of 8.0 yards on his seven solos). The guy had 6 solos at the half and ran out of gas again. Is it coincidence this defense melts when you do? I think not. Where does this guy go when he gets tired? He hides. Doesn’t Matt Patricia see this on film? Oh yeah, Dont’a? Maybe you wouldn’t be so winded if you stopped celebrating unsuccessful two-point conversion tries. Didn’t you notice that the two-point try comes after the other team scores a TD on you?