Patriots players of the week

Posted Oct. 17, 2010 @ 10:45 p.m.
Posted By Kevin Fishbain

The Patriots' offensive, defensive and special-teams players of the week in their 23-20 overtime victory over the Ravens in Week Six.

Offense: WR Deion Branch

Welcome back to Foxborough, Deion. In his return to the Pats, Branch led the team with nine catches for 98 yards and a crucial TD on a third-down play. He was targeted 12 times by QB Tom Brady and it was clear the two have not lost much chemistry despite not playing together for a few years. Branch had just as many catches on Sunday as Randy Moss did in his four games with the Pats before being traded.

Defense: ILB Jerod Mayo

Mayo racked up 18 tackles, the second-most of his career, leading a Patriots defense that held the Ravens scoreless in the final 27:57 of the game. Ravens RB Ray Rice, whose 83-yard TD run in last year's playoff game demoralized the Patriots, had just 88 yards on 28 carries, with a long run of eight yards. Mayo and fellow ILB Brandon Spikes combined for 32 tackles, not letting Rice get past the second level on the ground or receiving.

Special teams: P Zoltan Mesko and PK Stephen Gostkowski

With the Patriots backed up at their own 16-yard line and forced to punt to the Ravens with 7:26 remaining in overtime, it looked like Baltimore would have the necessary field position to line up for a game-winning field goal. But Mesko boomed a 65-yard punt that rolled to the Ravens' 19-yard line. The Patriots forced Baltimore to punt, then got the ball back at their 38 before driving into position for Gostkowski to boot the game-winning field goal from 35 yards out. In addition to sealing the comeback victory, Gostkowski added a 38-yarder and the game-tying 24-yard field goal. Since starting the season by making just one of his first four FG attempts, Gostkowski has made six consecutive kicks.