Running backs (C-) … Fumble boy Ridley put his head down and paid for it with a probable concussion and a fumble, one of two huge second-half turnovers. Shane Vereen followed up his best game with as tentative an effort as you’ll ever see. And Danny Woodhead is what he is, and that is a non-factor against physical defenses.
Receivers (B+) … Wes Welker had a huge third quarter drop and an early one on a deep ball, too. Brandon Lloyd and Aaron Hernandez simply cemented themselves as complimentary pieces, not prime-time performers. They were both, “OK.” All three should be commended, but this is a position of absolute need. This team needs an Anquan Boldin or better. Welker’s price goes up as this team’s lack of playmakers is an issue.
Tight ends (F) … Nothing at all from Daniel Fells or Michael Hoomawanui.
Quarterback (D) … I waited for the final numbers to be posted before this grade, because I was thoroughly afraid that I missed some wild barrage of pass rushers on Tom Brady. There was none. The fact is Brady laid another playoff egg. He was listless, walked around like he was a beaten man and sulked too darn much, too early. He is now 7-7 in his last 14 playoff games.
Line (D-) … Realizing that Kyle Love was lost early, I just thought the front four got manhandled by the Ravens. Vince Wilfork, such an impact vs. these guys a year ago and coming off an All-Pro sort of season, vanished into the Foxboro night with no tackles and one assist. The rest of the schmoes up front – guys by the name of Francis, Scott, Cunningham, Deaderick – simply were overwhelmed in the biggest game of their lives. We give the free pass to the rookie, Chandler Jones, who played sparingly due to injury. Rob Ninkovich had four solos and two of the least impactful sacks ever.