Gold Stars, Penalty Flags: Patriots Special Teams Unit Cements Status As Best In NFL

BOSTON (CBS) — The Pats came out of their break with a resounding victory in Denver. Sunday night’s tilt was over pretty quick.

Here are your gold stars and penalty flags from Sunday’s 41-16 win over the Broncos:

Gold Stars

– The Patriots special teams unit gets a gold star. Joe Judge has made this group the best special teams unit in the NFL.  They get after it on field goal blocks, punt blocks and now kickoff returns. This is the fourth straight game that the Pats special teams unit has lit the spark and led the way. Of the three units — offense, defense and special teams — the latter is the most valuable to the Pats.

– Rex Burkhead gets a gold star. The Patriots running back was all over the field. He was hammering the rock in the running game. He got the Pats on the board first with a 14-yard catch for a touchdown. Then he helped on special teams with a punt block.

Rex was signed in the offseason for his versatility and it was on display on Sunday. The Pats may have found another diamond in the rough.

– Bill Belichick get a gold star. Sunday night’s win was No. 270 for the Patriots head coach. That moves him to third on the all-time coaching list, tied with Cowboys great Tom Landry.

His players have spoke  openly about Belichick’s attention to detail, and it makes him one of the best football minds of all time. His teams are always prepared and winning is the ultimate goal. The push to get better isn’t week-to-week; it’s day-to-day and practice-to-practice.

He is the best coach in the NFL right now, and could go down as the best coach of all-time. It also doesn’t look like he’s planning on retiring any time soon, either.

Penalty Flags

– Malcolm Butler gets a penalty flag. Butler’s task on Sunday was defending Emmanuel Sanders and he got roasted. Sanders had six catches for 137 yards, and at times Butler looked lost.

I don’t know what it is, but Malcolm doesn’t play well when Stephon Gilmore is on the field. Maybe it’s because he’s not the alpha of the secondary, but this needs to be resolved. Butler is a very good corner; he needs to play like it all the time.

– The Denver Broncos gets a penalty flag.  It was just two years ago that this Broncos team won a championship and boasted one of the best defenses even seen. WHAT HAPPENED????

This team looks nothing like that team. They have now given up 92 points over the last two weeks. They simply looked overmatched on Sunday. They need better coaching, they need better leadership and they need to get better. They have fallen very fast.

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