FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- At an initial glance, and without the benefit of film review, a look at which New England Patriots are "up" and which are at the opposite end of the spectrum in Sunday's AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts:
Kyle Arrington -- Slot cornerback was kept on the field in the base defense to match up against receiver T.Y. Hilton and might have played the best game of his six-year career with blanket coverage. Arrington has also played top-notch football against Hilton in the Nov. 16 meeting between the teams.
LeGarrette Blount -- Bruising running back spearheaded the power running game to record his second career 100-yard rushing game.
James Develin -- Fullback's second-effort 1-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter, in which he bounced off an initial tackler, reflected the determination and physicality with which the Patriots played the game.
Nate Solder -- Left tackle catches a 16-yard touchdown pass on a tackle-eligible play and the celebration at the end of it was a throwback to the playground days of players' youth.
Offensive line/Cameron Fleming -- Playing without injured center Bryan Stork, which was a storyline followed closely leading up to the game, the combination of Solder, left guard Dan Connolly, center Ryan Wendell, right guard Josh Kline and right tackle Sebastian Vollmer controlled things up front. Rookie Cameron Fleming was on as a sixth blocker for 29 snaps which contributed to the power package.
Special teams/Brandon Bolden -- Can't overlook the impact of special teams, recovering a muffed punt and turning it into a touchdown, and Bolden's crunching hit in the fourth quarter stands out as a physical play that reflects the overall solid effort in the kicking game..
NOTE: We'll leave this column vacant tonight. The Patriots just won the AFC Championship in convincing fashion, so while there are surely some players who could fit here, we'll pass on the nitpicking and catch up to it in film review.