Patriots players of the week

Posted Sept. 26, 2010 @ 6:04 p.m.
Posted By Kevin Fishbain

Offensive player of the game: QB Tom Brady

In a game where the Patriots needed all the points they could get, Brady delivered. He was extremely efficient, going 21-of-27 through the air for 252 yards and three touchdowns. Brady hit seven different receivers, and five different receivers had 42 or more receiving yards. He went to the open man consistently as opposed to favoring Randy Moss like he did against the Jets in Week Two. And Brady used his nine-yard run for a first down in the third quarter when the Pats were nursing a 24-23 lead as a rallying cry for his team, showing lots of emotion in a game where he put the Pats on his back.

Defensive player of the game: S Patrick Chung

This was difficult, as the Pats' defense as a whole was woeful, giving up 30 points to the Bills. But Chung made two crucial plays, giving him player of the game honors. The Patriots' leading tackler on the season recorded seven on Sunday, but none bigger than his third-down tackle of Bills WR Roscoe Parrish in the third quarter. If Chung missed that tackle, the Bills would have gotten a big first down deep in Patriots territory. Instead, they settled for a long field-goal attempt that Rian Liddell missed. Chung came up big again in the fourth quarter when Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick overthrew his receiver into the arms of Chung for his first pick of the season. He returned the interception out of his own endzone 26 yards and the Patriots cashed in with a TD on the ensuing drive to boost their lead to 38-23. 

Special-teams player of the game: PK Stephen Gostkowski

Like the defense, the Pats' special teams was not so special. They gave up a kickoff return for a TD to C.J. Spiller and P Zoltan Mesko had a low net average of 34.7 yards per punt. Gostkowski had just one field goal, a 43-yarder at the end of the first half. What makes that field goal important is the confidence boost it likely gave Gostkowski who had missed his last three field-goal attempts. He booted the 43-yarder through the middle of the uprights leaving no doubt in the minds of nervous Pats fans. As shaky as the Patriots' defense has looked, they might find themselves in some close games, and Gostkowski needs to be reliable.