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Patriots Blog: Gold Stars And Black Thumb Prints

By Levan Reid, WBZ-TV
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Patriots WR Deion Branch (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Patriots WR Deion Branch (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

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New England Patriots

BOSTON (CBS) – After each Patriots game, Levan Reid will be handing out “Gold Stars” and the “Black Thumb Prints” to the players that have earned them.

Here are his “Gold Stars and Black Thumb Prints” for New England’s 27-17 loss to the Eagles on Monday night.

Gold Stars:

- Deion Branch gets a gold star. Three catches for 51 yards and he saw plenty of playing time. Branch has heard the footsteps this preseason and many have him on the roster bubble. His play on Monday night may have been just what he needed to stamp out his worth for this team. The catches came on third downs and produced fresh sets of downs for the offensive. His game remains clutch.

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- Stephen Gostkowski earned a gold star for his golden boot. It’s easy to take the kicking game for granted until they mess up in a big spot, and then we are all over them. Gostkowski made kicks from 51, 35, 55 on Monday night and made them look easy. That’s a solid night for any kicker. There are a lot of position battles in this camp but after Monday night, but there is only one kicker in town.

- Tight end Alex Silvestro gets a gold star. The Pats changed his position and number at the beginning of camp, and the has taken it all in stride. His touchdown against Philly was an indication that he is understands what he’s doing, and being asked to do.

- Nate Ebner gets a gold star. The rookie safety got an interception and showed that he has some ball skills for a former Rugby star. Not sure where he stands on the depth chart, but he did not hurt himself on Monday night.

Black Thumb Prints:

- Brandon Bolden gets a black thumb print. From the beginning of camp until now, the rookie running back has taken steps in the wrong direction. On Monday night, he fumbled a punt which cost the Pats seven points and took the away momentum. Then he literally took steps back on a draw play, losing seven yards in the process. Undrafted rookies cannot fumble the ball and expect to make the team. Brandon better solidify up his game, and fast.

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- Donte’ Stallworth gets a black thumb print. Donte’ spent more time, arguing with the refs than catching balls. He’s fighting for a spot, and every week I have a different feel about him. Right now I am down on him because of Branch’s strong performance. Stallworth needs to get his head in the game and forget the refs — or he could be gone.

- Sterling Moore gets a black thumb print. I am a huge Moore fan, so it pains me to say this. He’s not getting better and Monday night looked very much out-of-place. DeSean Jackson played with him on a long passing play and he never seems to look back and find the ball. He is always looking for the strip, and against the Eagles, it did not work.

Follow Levan Reid on CBSBostonsports.com and on Twitter @LevanReid all Patriots’ season long! 

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