Dion Lewis on expanded workload: 'I'm embracing it, I like having the ball'

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Without the benefit of film review, an initial look at who's "up" and "down" from the New England Patriots' 26-6 win over the New York Jets:


Dion Lewis -- With Rex Burkhead, James White and Mike Gillislee all inactive with injuries, he played a season-high total of snaps (surpassing his 51 from last week) and finished with 93 yards on 26 carries and one touchdown while adding six catches for 40 yards and another score. "I'm embracing it. I like having the ball, I like helping my team win," Lewis said. "They counted on me today and I had a lot of fun out there."

Lawrence Guy -- The free-agent signing from Baltimore capped off a consistent season with a strong performance, totaling five tackles and providing a sturdy presence on the line of scrimmage. He was particularly disruptive early in the game. He also has a sense of humor, saying of former rival James Harrison after his strong debut, "I plead the fifth on having not liked him in the past." That was a reference to the bitter Ravens-Steelers rivalry.

Third-down defense/Marquis Flowers -- The Jets were 0-for-12 on third down, as the Patriots' package of seven defensive backs, three defensive linemen, and Flowers as the lone linebacker was productive. Flowers finished with four tackles and a sack.

Crowd -- It was 13 degrees at kickoff, making this the coldest regular-season home game in Patriots history. So a tip of the helmet to Patriots fans who came out. "That was pretty hardcore today," quarterback Tom Brady said. "To be out there, to brave that weather, sit in the stands, that was pretty sweet. It was a great way to end the year. We started 2-2 and 13-3 is pretty good and to get the No. 1 seed."

Ryan Allen -- It wasn't an easy day to punt, but Allen had eight of them, with five inside the 20. He finished with a 42.3-yard average and a 41.8-yard net. "We were all on the same page and we got good coverage," Allen said. "We were all firing and when we do that, we get the outcome we want as a unit."


Brandon Bolden in pass protection -- While Bolden was productive as a rusher (46 yards, 9 carries, 5.1 avg.), he had some issues in pass protection that contributed to Brady never seeming to be fully comfortable. The team missed White, whose pass protection is one of his best assets.

Tom Brady-to-Brandin Cooks connection -- There were some good moments, and the frigid conditions are part of the consideration, but Cooks was targeted a game-high 11 times, finishing with five catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. That's still a solid day on the stat sheet, although there was an opportunity for more. Brady was frustrated with himself for missing Cooks for what could have been an easy touchdown, and Cooks dropped one screen early.

Eric Lee setting the edge -- The first-year defensive end seemed to get caught inside on a Bilal Powell 24-yard run in the first quarter. The ability to set the edge is critical in the Patriots' defense, and Lee has had some issues in that area in recent weeks. He finished with two tackles and a sack.