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Patriots stock report: Aqib Talib's two interceptions lift Patriots past Jets

Posted by Erik Frenz  September 13, 2013 12:04 AM

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots aren't used to winning as ugly as they won on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, but after a second consecutive ugly win over the Jets, they seem to be settling into the new look quite comfortably.

With a 13-10 win over the Jets on Thursday night, the Patriots moved to 2-0 on the season and an equal record in the division. If they can continue to win while they iron out the wrinkles, that's a huge plus.

It's pretty obvious, at this point, that there's still work to be done.

Here are some players whose stock rose and others who came out of the game a little worse for the wear.

Stock up:

Aaron Dobson: In his first game, rookie wide receiver Aaron Dobson's first target and first reception led to his first touchdown, a 39-yard strike on an interesting play design. With Dobson lined up in the backfield, the Patriots set up a play-action fake and had Dobson run a wheel route out of the backfield, sprinting uncovered toward the end zone. He had a drop later in the game, and caught just three of 10 targets in his direction, but he was consistently getting open, and at least a few of those incompletions were not entirely his fault.

Aqib Talib: The veteran cornerback forced a fumble on a big catch down the seam by Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill, and safety Devin McCourty returned the fumble to the Jets 8-yard line. Also had a remarkable play on a tip drill interception that saved at least three points on the scoreboard, and an interception on Geno Smith's final pass attempt of the game.

Chandler Jones: Most of the Patriots pressure came from Chandler Jones, who logged two sacks and had another pair of hits on the quarterback. He did solid work from both the defensive end and defensive tackle spots, lining up as a 3-technique and 5-technique on his two sacks.

Ryan Allen: After a less-than-stellar outing in Buffalo, Allen got back on track and had four punts downed inside the 20-yard line with an average distance of 46.7 yards per punt. His 11 punts and 514 yards both tied single-game franchise records -- which is also a statement to the stagnant state of the Patriots offense on Thursday night.

Stock down:

Tom Brady: Tough night for the Patriots quarterback, who went 12-of-26 in the first half and finished 19-of-39 passing. It's the first time since 2009 that Brady has completed fewer than 50 percent of his throws. After a performance like Thursday night, the consensus might be that his receivers were not in the right place to catch his passes. That might be the case on some throws, but there were others Brady would surely like to have back (deep incompletions to Dobson and a slant to Thompkins come to mind).

Chandler Jones: Wait, didn't I just get done singing Jones' praises? Well, he had the two sacks, but there was also the penalty for a high hit on Geno Smith and several plays in a row on the Jets first-half field goal drive where the Jets ran in his direction repeatedly. Jones often talks about being a well-rounded defensive end, and while he's normally very stout on the edge in run defense, he's not perfect in that regard just yet.

Stephen Gostkowski: Hooked a 43-yard field goal attempt wide left at the end of the first half -- that was before it started pouring at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots would have loved those extra three points when they were sweating out a close win late in the game.

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About the author

Erik Frenz delivers analysis of the biggest news with the Patriots, including insight into the AFC East and New England's biggest rivals from a Patriots perspective. Erik is an interactive writer who engages his audience in his posts’ comments sections and on Twitter. Readers are encouraged to share their thoughts and ask questions. More »


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