Ups and downs for the Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- At an initial glance, a look at those players who were "up" in the New England Patriots' 34-31 victory against the Denver Broncos and those at the opposite end of the spectrum:


Tom Brady -- Becomes just the fifth quarterback in history to throw 350 career touchdowns.

Marquice Cole -- Cornerback is the gunner on the punt team and his effort contributes to the key play -- the Broncos' Tony Carter touching the punt that the Patriots recovered to set up the game-winning field goal.

Julian Edelman -- The receiver once viewed as the replacement for Wes Welker, who was then trumped by Danny Amendola, turns in a Welker-type effort.

Logan Ryan -- Rookie cornerback intercepts Peyton Manning early in the fourth quarter that the Patriots turn into a go-ahead touchdown.

Brandon Spikes/Dane Fletcher -- Spikes plays with infectious energy and a physical edge, while Fletcher forces a third-quarter fumble that contributes to the momentum swinging in favor of the Patriots.


LeGarrette Blount -- Running back loses a first-quarter fumble and doesn't play again.

Dont'a Hightower -- Linebacker appears to struggle on third-and-20 screen play that goes for 31 yards and doesn't play in the second half (which potentially could have been injury-related).

Stevan Ridley -- Running back loses a fumble in the first quarter, continuing a disturbing run of ball-security problems, and doesn't play again.

Nate Solder -- Left tackle is beaten for two sacks, the first of which leads to a Tom Brady fumble that is turned into a Broncos touchdown.