SPOILER ALERT: There were a lot of winners this week. That tends to happen when a team plays quite possibly its best game of the season to date.
The Patriots throttled the Denver Broncos winning 41-16 as they dominated on all three sides of the ball. The special teams were at it again and the defense continues to improve and as far as Tom Brady and the offense? Well, it was just another day in the office. Let’s dive right into this week’s winners and losers.
Remember when Lewis was lost in the offense? Me neither. Lewis continues his stretch of dominant play and this time he did in several different ways. He returned a monster 103-yard return touchdown on a kick off and added 14 carries for 55 yards and a touchdown as the team’s leading back.
The Tight Ends
This is truly not limited to one person. Rob Gronkowski did what he usually did and drew attention to open plays for guys like Rex Burkhead and James White. He also blocked very well and caught several passes. Martellus Bennett was officially welcomed back as he caught three passes for 38 yards. Dwayne Allen got in the mix with his first pass caught of the season being an 11-yard touchdown which should give him a lot of confidence going forward. Even Jacob Hollister who is fourth on the depth chart recovered a first quarter fumble on special teams. It was a good day in the office for the tight ends.
Brady gets left off of a lot of winners lists simply because he is expected to be great but people take for granted just how special he is. He continued his MVP campaign with 266 yards and three touchdowns. He may never throw another interception again at this point and the Patriots aren’t going to complain.
Gilmore finally returned to the field for this first time in four games and surprising many he played extremely well. He limited Demaryius Thomas to 44 yards and a touchdown and looked very solid all game long. He was penalized yet again but if he can get a handle on that then he will be just fine.
The Offensive Line
Against possibly the best defensive line in football, the Patriots were excellent up front. They held their own all game long and they look to be fine if they lose Nate Soldier for any extended period. Brady will need them to continue this for this team to be successful.
Maybe it was Gilmore coming back and playing every snap that got to him but Butler did not look good out there. Emmanuel Sanders toasted him several times. He finished with six catches for 137 yards and consistently made Butler look bad. He will need to bounce back.
Gillislee was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. He continues to get lost in the depth chart as he loses touches to Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead. Considering how well those two played, things don’t look good going forward but that does not mean he is fully out of it. He will simply have to make the most of his opportunities in the future.
Finding only two clear cut losers is not going to be a regular thing I am sure but that is of course not a bad thing for Patriots fans. Burkhead and the Patriots bend but not break defense could have both been winners as well. Comment who you believe should have made the list and continue to follow Cover32 for your up to date NFL news.
–Jared Talbot is a Staff Writer and covers the New England Patriots for cover32.com/Patriots.