4. Dont’a Hightower -- Shame on Matt Patricia for trying to make this guy do things he can’t physically do -- running down the field one on one with tight ends and backs. Hightower did nothing to improve his stock.
GRADING THE GROUPS
Line (C) ... This group was headed for an absolute A+ after about 25 minutes. And then, the roof caved in. The Jets four-man rush began, one that had little or no impact at all in the first half, began pounding Tom Brady. Instead of Logan Mankins screaming at his buddies on the sideline late in the game, he should have been yelling at Josh McDaniels for abandoning the running game.
Wide Receivers (C-) ... Struggled all day to get open as a group. Julian Edelman led the group with 5 catches for 44 yards, hardly Pro Bowl numbers. But when Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins and Austin Collie combine to catch 6 of 17 balls tossed their way, those look like Welker numbers.
Tight Ends (B+) ... If “The Gronk” (called that only by NBC’s Dan Dierdorf) makes that amazing one-handed catch down the stretch, it’s over. But he didn’t. He returned with 8 catches, on 17 throws his way, for 114 yards with no TDs. Solid, but unspectacular, which is a monumental step up to what this team has had at the position.
Running Backs (A) ... Love the work by Brandon Bolden and Stevan Ridley, who picked up 4.5 yards per try. Did they lose their helmets in overtime? For some reason, they were ignored.
Quarterback (C-) ... When the passing game isn’t there and the run is, shouldn’t the QB say something to the coaches. Instead, Tom Brady (22 of 46 for 228 yards with no TDs and a pick-six) just kept forcing things into spots that didn’t exist. A dreadful effort, good for a pathetic 53.5 rating and even worse, 5.0 yards per attempt.