1. Jerod Mayo – All the piling on I’ve done on this guy, and it turns out he was simply put in the wrong position by Bill Belichick. Clearly, he’s much more at home, outside on the weak side than in the middle. Finished with nine impactful solos, a brutalizing presence. Finally!
2. Stevan Ridley –
Ran hard, ran quick, ran explosive. Caught the football. Held the football. Busts out for 125 yards on 21 carries with a TD. And we all chuckled under our breath when he went in the second round of The Eagle-Tribune’s sports staff fantasy draft.
3. Chandler Jones – The rookie drew special attention all afternoon from the Titans. Three solos and lots of pressure.
4. Brandon Lloyd – Loved the way the newcomer ran hard routes all day, even when the football went elsewhere. Sweet, sweet work on the sideline. Finished with five grabs for 69 yards.
1. Ras-I Dowling – Set the early tone, getting burned for a third-down conversion then comitting a blatant pass interference for another first. Takes the bullet for a corner group that allowed receivers to roam free all night long.
2. Pat Chung – Still can’t cover anyone. Starting to take some Meriweather-esque angles to the football. Maybe, he’s hurt again. Just not sure he fits in this defense. They need playmakers, not riverboat gamblers.
3. Nate Solder – Got Tom Brady’s nose broken with an early turnstile whiff. All the pressure on Brady came from his spot, although Logan Mankins was beaten once as well. Decent enough in the run game, but he’s going to give the Pats’ QB the cold sweats tonight and maybe every night.
GRADING THE GROUPS
Line (B-) … Yes, Stevan Ridley had giant holes to run through. But the fact that Tom Brady’s priceless nose got smooshed early should send tremors into your hopes for the season. A quality pass-rushing team is going to beat this offense up.