Jabaal Sheard up, Chris Harper down in Patriots' loss

DENVER -- A look at the New England Patriots players who were “up” and those who were “down” in Sunday’s 30-24 loss to the Denver Broncos.


Ryan Allen: The punter was an unsung performer, making the Broncos drive a long field more often than not, with his best effort coming in the third quarter when he pinned them at their own 3-yard line, the ball spinning to a stop on the snowy field. Five of his punts were inside the 20, which in snowy conditions on a cold night helped the Patriots win the field-position game.

Brandon Bolden: His 63-yard catch-and-run touchdown early in the fourth quarter, on his 10th snap of the game, provided a spark for an offense that was kept off the scoreboard in the third quarter.

Jabaal Sheard: The defensive end delivered a few big-time rushes, forcing a second-quarter interception when he barreled into quarterback Brock Osweiler’s arm to pop the football into the air (Chandler Jones leaped to intercept it) and then in the third quarter on an interior surge.


Chris Harper: The undrafted rookie receiver muffed a punt early in the fourth quarter that the Broncos recovered. The Patriots were in position to get the ball with a 21-7 lead. Instead, the Broncos turned it into a touchdown and breathed new life into their comeback hopes.

Josh Kline/Tre' Jackson: Kline caught the eye on two plays – struggling on a double-team block with right tackle Marcus Cannon with 1:51 remaining in the first quarter on a Derek Wolfe sack, and then getting beat on a play in which Bolden was dropped for a loss of 1 yard in the third quarter. Jackson was called for holding to negate a long completion to Keshawn Martin in the fourth quarter.

James White: Change-of-pace running back couldn’t generate yards after the catch or after contact, as the Patriots missed that dynamic in their attack.