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Leftover thoughts from finale

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A few leftover thoughts from the Patriots' season finale:

1. Guyton's fall on the depth chart. Linebacker Gary Guyton didn't play a snap on defense, marking the third time in four weeks that he hasn't taken the field outside of a limited role on special teams. Guyton has been a valuable fill-in for Jerod Mayo in the past, but he's been passed on the depth chart in recent weeks by Dane Fletcher and Tracy White. If White returns to full health (abdomen), and Rob Ninkovich's hip doesn't limit him, Guyton might have trouble cracking the 46-man game-day roster in the playoffs.

2. Edelman could make Jones expendable. Veteran Nate Jones opened Sunday's game playing in the nickel, before being replaced by Julian Edelman. When Edelman came on to the field, the results improved. With Jones not showing up on any special teams units Sunday, Jones' value on the roster could warrant further evaluation from the coaching staff. Edelman's performance in the finale was impressive.

3. Waters: Hard not to feel good for Gronkowski. Curious how some teammates view tight end Rob Gronkowski? Here is what veteran offensive lineman Brian Waters responded when asked about Gronkowski setting the NFL record for receiving yards by a tight end: "You really don't try to focus on individual things, but you're definitely excited for a guy like that. All he does is come and play football. There have only been a few people in my life that you never see a sad face on them at all [and] every time I see the guy he's smiling. You wonder why he's smiling, you wonder what's going on in his head, but the guy is always in a good mood, he's always happy. He loves football and that's something you can be excited about."

4. Hernandez and the high-step. Opinion -- The NFL's rules on unsportsmanlike conduct should be reviewed to eliminate the inconsistency of what unfolded Sunday. If Stevie Johnson gets a flag for lifting his shirt to reveal a shirt that says "Happy New Year!" and Aaron Hernandez isn't penalized for showing up the Bills with a high-step into the end zone, something is wrong. Bills players were rightfully steamed at Hernandez.

5. Slater out of the mix at safety? In a game where the Patriots went deep into the depth chart in the defensive backfield, Matthew Slater didn't play a defensive snap at safety.