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Sports

December 21, 2009

Two-minute drill

Big Shows

1. Randy Moss — He was a difference-maker. Five catches for 70 yards and one TD. Drew a 37-yard pass interference call. Was active and open. Made plays on 50/50 balls. He's absolutely infuriating. Where has this Moss been?

2. Tully Banta-Cain — Three sacks and tremendous pressure.

3. Mike Wright — Gets a bushel of "Tommy Points" for his motor. Finished with five solos and one sack.

4. Derrick Burgess — Hey, we've pounded the guy all year. He had six solos and one sack, the first semblance of life from No. 53.

No Shows

1. Jerod Mayo — Fred Jackson carried 15 times (ask Perry Fewell why it was only 15) for 80 yards and did his best work running right down Mayo's throat. The reigning NFL Rookie Defensive Player of the Year had five solo tackles, good for Buffalo gains of 4, 10, 7, 13 and 2 yards - or 7.2 yards per play. He was the only Patriot without an engraved invitation to the Buffalo backfield.

2. Pierre Woods — There has to be a better option than Woods at outside linebacker. His one-tackle performance made Adalius Thomas look active.

3. James Sanders/Brandon Meriweather/Brandon McGowan - Buffalo's inept passing game prompted the safeties to play up in the box, and there was simply wasn't much impact. Meriweather had a handful of tackles and dropped an easy pick, but this was a game the safeties could have claimed as theirs but didn't.

Grading the Groups

Offense

Line (C+) ... Can't say they dominated the NFL's worst defense against the run, and while Tom Brady went sack-free for the third straight week, he did take a physical pounding.

Backs (C+) ... Would it be illegal for Laurence Maroney to pick up 4.5 yards a carry for once? His 23 rushes for 81 yards is nice, but ...

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