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Patriots stock report: Tom Brady outduels Peyton Manning in wild win

Posted by Erik Frenz  November 25, 2013 12:22 AM

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Go have a cigarette; if you sat through this game, you deserve it.

A muffed punt by the Broncos in overtime brought an apt ending to an insane game, as the Patriots went on to win 34-31.

With any game as wild as this one, there are bound to be some players on either end of the spectrum, so let's take a look at whose stock went up and who has some work to do.

Stock up:

Shane Vereen: Was a first-down conversion machine, with four of them on the night, including two third downs converted for a first down. Finished with 17 touches for 83 combined rushing and receiving yards.

Jamie Collins: Got the start at linebacker in place of Brandon Spikes and made a pair of big plays on the first drive with a tackle on Virgil Green and then on Wes Welker to hold the Broncos short of a first down.

Julian Edelman: Caught two touchdown passes that helped the Patriots mount their comeback in the fourth quarter and had a nifty, shake-and-bake punt return of 20 yards that helped set up a field goal drive in the fourth quarter.

Tom Brady: Brady has owned Jack Del Rio in recent years, and Sunday night was no different. He finished 34-of-50 for 344 yards and threw three touchdown passes, all in the second half, to help the Patriots gain the lead. Brady's 56th career 300-yard performance is the fifth-most all-time.

Stock down:

Stevan Ridley: With his third fumble in as many games, it's getting tough to defend Ridley's struggles holding onto the football. He had four carries before being pulled from the game, and he didn't see the field again from that point. It's fair to wonder whether the Patriots have run out of patience for their top running back.

Offensive line: A continuing story line this year has been the amount of pressure on Tom Brady. He has been sacked 31 times in the first 11 games and is on pace to be sacked a career-high 45 times. Center Ryan Wendell and left tackle Nate Solder were charted for sacks allowed.

Chris Jones/Joe Vellano: Blown off the ball continually in the running game, as the Broncos amassed 280 rushing yards on 48 carries.

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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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