3 up, 3 down for Patriots

LANDOVER, Md. -- At an initial glance, a look at three players whose performance was "up" and three players who were at the opposite end of the spectrum:


Rob Gronkowski -- It's getting to the point where you ask the question "What is he going to do next?" The second-year tight end finishes with six receptions for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns. His first touchdown reception breaks the NFL record for TD catches by a tight end in a season (14) and he adds another one later. Catching balls in traffic. Running after the catch. Bouncing off would-be tacklers. Blocking at the line. Gronkowski is doing it all.

Matt Light/Nate Solder -- Leading into the game, we hear about the Redskins' solid pressure off the edges with Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan. But the Patriots' offensive tackles keep them quiet for the most part. Orakpo and Kerrigan each finish with one tackle and one quarterback hit, but no sacks on 37 dropbacks. Light is flagged for one holding penalty.

Jerod Mayo -- Linebacker delivers a game-saving, diving interception at the 5 yard line to close out the game. He also finishes with a team-high 9 tackles.


Deion Branch -- Receiver plays a lot and is blanked on the stat sheet. He doesn't finish the game because of an undisclosed injury, but says after the game that he should be OK.

Devin McCourty -- Cornerback has a tough first half as he's beaten by a 51-yard bomb and then a 9-yard touchdown pass, and he's also flagged for pass interference on third-and-18. He bounces back a bit in the second half with a few pass breakups.

Run defense -- Redskins have success on the ground in totaling 170 yards on 34 carries (5.0 avg.). This area has been a relative strength for the Patriots this season, which makes the performance out of character.