1. Julian Edelman – It’s very hard to write this, because deep down I think this guy hurts the team more than he helps. But here goes. Ran a punt back 68 yards to tie the game at 14-14. Caught five balls for 58 yards and a TD, and yes, added the 47-yard run. That’s 232 all-purpose yards on the day.
2. Rob Gronkowski – Gifted with odd coverage that allowed him a free release then let a safety try and run him down, Gronk feasted with seven catches for 137 yards and two TDs. Uncoverable with one guy, although the Colts tried.
3. Wes Welker – Another seven catches for 80 yards. Quiet but so dependable. Pay the guy his money.
4. Tom Brady – Stepped up in the pocket with authority. Obviously, he was listening when some radio guy in Boston – actually two of them – agreed that right now they would trade Brady for Andrew Luck. I’ll take three more years with this guy (24 of 35, 331 yards, 0 picks, 127.2 rating) over three decades of slow-hand, Andrew Luck.
5. Alfonzo Dennard – Luck completed 54 percent of his passes for 334 yards and three interceptions. That’s a victory for this secondary. So, we’ll salute Alfonzo Dennard and his pick-6. Aqib Talib was just beaten too often to gain the adulation.
6. Rob Ninkovich – Strip-sack and recovery. Whatever little pass rush the Pats are getting comes from Ninkovich, who finished with four solo tackles.
1. Stevan Ridley – This was the opportunity to close, and instead the Pats were forced to the air and a crazy end-around to Julian Edelman to slam the door. So much for the “Sandman” nickname.
2. Brandon Spikes/Jerod Mayo – The Colts ran for 5.0 yards a carry and were dictating pace until Andrew Luck imploded. Where were these two? They combined for a pair of solos and a 18 pile-jumps or assists.