BOSTON (CBS) – I was wrong. I went back and forth on Sunday heading in to the Patriots game, and I actually thought they were going to lose in Atlanta.
But instead the Patriots pulled out a huge win and proved me wrong to improve to 4-0 on the season — and did so in impressive fashion.
Here are your Gold Stars and Penalty Flags for the Patriots’ Week 4 win over the Atlanta Falcons:
– Aqib Talib deserves a gold star. He was the best player on the field Sunday night. He played spectacular corner on Julio Jones, got his fourth interception and stood tall on the last play of the game. The Pats now have a player at corner that has a reputation of being physical. He gets calls and is allowed to play his game. Aqib has done a great job this year.
– Joe Vellano and Chris Jones both deserve gold stars. When Vince Wilfork went down early Vellano and Jones stepped in and the defense did not miss a beat. That says a lot about Vince that the Pats need two people to fill his shoes, but these two did it and Vellano even got a sack. The Pats are going to need their production going forward.
– The Patriots’ running game gets a gold star. Whether it was LeGarrete Blunt, Stevan Ridley or Brandon Bolden, the Pats made the running game work. They pounded the rock and sustained drives. Trust me, this is a practice for later on down the road. When they play the Broncos in Week 12 they are going to have to keep Peyton Manning off the field. Doing it to Matt Ryan was a huge test and it worked. At one point, the Pats ran the ball 10 straight times, and they used the run to open the pass very successfully.
– Zach Sudfeld gets a penalty flag. The reason for being on the hands team is because you can handle the ball. Sudfeld’s fumble on the onside kick made this game a lot close than it needed to be. He also he needs to get himself out of Brady’s dog house. The Pats need a tight end in their receiving offense, and it would be nice if Zach came through.
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– The refs deserve multiple penalty flags. They missed calls, spotted the ball in wrong spots and then the replay booth failed to work. I’ve never heard of such a thing. This crew did not have their best game and it almost cost the Pats a game.
Follow Levan Reid on Twitter @LevanReid.