1. Stephen Gostkowski — His finger-tip tackle on Miami kick-returner Clyde Gates in the third, saved a TD, the game and potentially the No. 1 seed. Instead of having a 24-3 lead, Miami fumbles the snap two plays later and the Pats make it a game at 17-10.
2. Wes Welker — Pay this man his money. He's earned it. Another 12 catches for 138 yards, making it 116 for 1,518 on the season.
3. Marcus Cannon/Nate Solder — Two rookies start at the tackles and Tom Brady was only sacked for four times in 50-plus dropbacks? That's a great day.
4. Chad Ochocinco — Another huge catch to make it 15 on the year - staying right on his one-per game pace. NOTE: This is for all of you who think I was too tough on him last week.
1. Devin McCourty — I thought he had a chance to be Ty Law. I was ready to settle for Asante Samuel, and the 2010 first-round pick is well on the road to being Ellis Hobbs III (sans the kick-return ability). Much of Brandon Marshall's 7-catch, 156-yard, 1-TD day came at McCourty's expense.
2. BenJarvus Green-Ellis — Clearly he's a step behind the other backs. Ran three times for 10 yards.
3. Vince Wilfork — I know this is sacrilege in this town, but I'll be the one to say it. Big Vince has lost a step. Do yourself a favor. Watch any replays you can in this game. Wilfork is being pushed back like never before. Again, 0 tackles, with three assists this time. The guy plays every snap hard. I admire that. But he's not the dominating force he once was.
GRADING THE GROUPS
Line (B+) ... All on effort. This is a group that closed with one of the five original starters. Yes, Miami did them a favor by calling off the blitzes in the second half but Marcus Cannon, Nate Solder , Dan Connolly, Donald Thomas and Brian Waters held their own and delivered. Great job for this group.