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December 22, 2008

Two Minute Drill

Big Shows

1. Jabar Gaffney - How does a University of Florida guy, who played his high school ball in Jacksonville, Fla., play possibly his best game as a Patriot, in a driving snow? Gaffney caught five balls, all in the first half when it mattered, for 90 yards.

2. Matt Cassel - Leave it to a Southern California guy to make hay in the snow, sleet and ice.

3. Chris Hanson/Stephen Gostkowski - Hanson netted, yes netted, 47.0 yards per boot, 15.0 yards per kick better than his opposite number.

Gostkowski was 4 for 4 on field goals and set a new team mark with 34. He is now 34 of 37 on the year, edging past Adam Vinatieri's 31 of 33 in 2004. All this in the heart of a New England winter mess.

¬ 

(Non-Cardinal) No Shows

1. Ben Watson - Sam Aiken and Heath Evans caught footballs yesterday. Guess who didn't? Of course, I knew Watson actually played when No. 84 was tagged with a holding call late in the fourth quarter. And let's accentuate the positives here. When a perfect Cassel throw hit Watson in the hands, his usual bump-set didn't carom right to a defensive back. It fell harmlessly to the Gillette turf. Baby steps, Ben. Baby steps.

2. Randy Moss - My agenda won't be so tough here, though, because Moss has delivered for this team when it counts. His first-half drops simply didn't matter. Plus, the guy went all out for his teammates a couple times with downfield blocking, one allowing Sammy Morris to waltz down the sideline on a 42-yard screen. Still, somebody has to be a "no show" even in a 47-7 rout. And he is a superstar. The bar is set quite high. Hey, I gave the receivers an "A," so this is the tamest of No Shows ever.

3. Wes Welker - I thought about Junior Seau, because it's just painful to watch him try to play the game at his age. But then again, he's older than me and he led the team in tackles. So that was out. Then, I thought about Richard Seymour, because he looked like the only guy on the team who wasn't in Kurt Warner's face. But he went out with a back injury. So I settled for Welker, not for his play (7 catches, 68 yards, 1 TD), but for his snow angel attempt. The first time this guy wants to show a little personality and he copies a Lonie Paxton move? Come on, Wes. Be more creative, especially if it's going to cost the team 15 yards.

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