BOSTON (CBS) – The Patriots improved to 5-1 on Sunday by handing the New Orelans Saints their first loss of the season.
It was a big win for New England as they staged a late fourth-quarter comeback. Here’s your gold stars and penalty flags for the tilt:
– Aqib Talib and defensive backs. Talib has been great all season and Sunday was another amazing effort. To hold Jimmy Graham to zero catches is a great accomplishment. Then when Talib went down, the rest of the group stepped it up and kept the Saints at bay. Stills’ touchdown was covered and there was nothing more the guys could do. But they were able to get the ball back to the offense on a great play be Alfonzo Dennard and that led to the game-winner.
– The players on the field for that last drive deserve a gold star. Tom Brady engineered the game winner and the offensive skill players were on point. Julian Edelman had a catch to start it, and Aaron Dobson chipped in with a tough grab and out of bounds. The Patriots even got two catches for Austin Collie, followed by the touchdown grab by Kenbrell Thompkins with five seconds left. A great drive and great execution for those involved.
– Stephen Gostkowski nailed a 54-yarder in the 3rd quarter and he gets a gold star. The Pats needed every point in this one and Gostkowski has been money on long field goals this season. The 54-yarder is his career long, and he’s hit 11 straight field goals so far.
– Rob Gronkowski gets a penalty flag. Gronk didn’t play but he is way too much of a story than he needs to be. We are all getting Gronk-lash. He needs to play so all of this back and forth will end, but it doesn’t seem like he’ll be out there in a game anytime soon.
– Some of the Patriots’ “faithful” get a penalty flag. Those fans who left the game and didn’t stay until the end missed a finish for the ages. The Pats played 60 minutes and for those who left, they should be saddened. You may never witness an ending like that again.
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– The injury bug gets a penalty flag. I don’t know if the Pats are superstitious but this injury bug over the team has to be lifted. Every game, some player goes down. This game had four players go down in Jerod Mayo, Aqib Talib, Danny Amendola and Dan Connolly.
The biggest blow is losing Mayo, who was placed on the IR on Wednesday. The Patriots need to shake this injury bug, because they can’t afford to lose more players.
Follow Levan Reid on Twitter @LevanReid.
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