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Patriots stock report: Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson hit stride

Posted by Erik Frenz  September 22, 2013 04:07 PM

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots offense seems to have finally hit its stride.

They didn't get off to a great start, scoring no points in the first quarter, but they found their groove in the final three quarters to trounce the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-3.

They got some help from the Buccaneers struggles on offense, but the defense did its share in logging three sacks of quarterback Josh Freeman and holding running back Doug Martin to 88 rushing yards.

Here's a look at the players who had a strong showing, and those who need to pick it up after a tough week.

Stock up:

Kenbrell Thompkins: Sunday was a coming-out party for the rookie wide receiver. He caught three passes for 41 yards and two touchdowns on the day, making up for what was a tough showing against the Jets. Thompkins began looking like the reliable receiver we saw throughout training camp and the preseason.

Aaron Dobson: Two rookie receivers really stepped up today, as Dobson caught the first four passes thrown his way and finished with seven catches for 52 yards, leading the team in both categories. Dobson came up big in some key situations, converting a third down and a fourth down on the day.

Brandon Bolden: Finished with 100 yards from scrimmage on eight touches -- three carries and five catches -- and had the team's biggest play of the day with a 46-yard run, on which it looked like he might be brought down behind the line of scrimmage. Credit goes to Logan Mankins for a nice block to spring him free on that run. Bolden has very much earned his role in the Patriots backfield rotation.

Stephen Gostkowski: Made all three of his field goal tries, including a 53-yarder. It was his eighth field goal of 50 yards or longer, which tied his own personal record. Also, an interesting stat per Mike Giardi of CSNNE: only one of Gostkowski's kickoffs has been returned. All others have resulted in a touchback.

Stock down:

Kyle Arrington: Had a costly pass interference penalty on Buccaneers receiver Mike Williams in the red zone, setting the Buccaneers up in excellent field position. He also was way out of position on a 13-yard completion to Williams on the play prior to his penalty. Arrington was taken off the field more frequently in the second half than we're used to seeing, in favor of rookie cornerback Logan Ryan.

Buccaneers receivers: Yes, the Patriots defense did a fine job of holding the Buccaneers to just three points, but they had a lot of help early on as the Buccaneers dropped three passes in the first half of play, including a dropped pass in the end zone. If any one or multiple of those balls were caught, the Patriots may have been in a bit more of a dog fight than what ended up being a blowout.

Vince Wilfork: Was, once again, taken out by just one blocker on many of the Buccaneers offensive plays. It's been a tough start to the season for Wilfork, who was taken out by just one blocker in both of the Patriots first two games. Wilfork is the centerpiece of much of the Patriots defensive scheme, so they need him to get right quickly.

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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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