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Patriots stock report: Week Three

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Recent posts by Kevin Fishbain

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Posted Sept. 26, 2011 @ 6:34 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

Every week, PFW associate editor and Patriots writer Kevin Fishbain will identify three up-and-comers and three players/units going in the opposite direction in the Patriots stock report.

Rising

1. WR Wes Welker: Not that anyone was worried about Welker's stock, but Week Two was a reminder of how good he is. With Aaron Hernandez out, the receiving game needed a boost and Welker had a career day with 16 catches for 217 yards and two touchdowns. No one on the Bills could stop him and Welker proved once again how reliable he is as a pass catcher and how effective he can be after the catch.

2. RB Stevan Ridley: The Patriots struggled to run the ball in their loss to the Bills, but the rookie had a few nice runs in between the tackles. The LSU product had seven rushes for 44 yards, leading the team in rushing yards. The Pats need to regain the rushing attack they had last season, and maybe Ridley, who looked good in the preseason, is part of the answer.

3. CB Kyle Arrington: From starter to No. 4 corner, Arrington made some big plays on Sunday with two interceptions and another pass defensed. Arrington got extra playing time with injuries in the secondary against the Bills' spread and made the most of it. He is still finding ways to make an impact even as a reserve.

Falling

1. WR Chad Ochocinco: It wasn't a big deal after one game, and maybe even after two games, but Ochocinco has played all three games and still isn't providing what he needs to for the Patriots' offense. Ochocinco dropped a sure-fire touchdown and got beat by CB Leodis McKelvin on a slant route that McKelvin jumped to pick off a pass. With Aaron Hernandez out, Ochocinco had an opportunity to step up in the passing game and didn't. He finished with two catches for 28 yards.

2. Pass rush: This was one of the biggest problems for the Patriots last season and doesn't look any better this season, even with the additions up front. The Patriots didn't sack Ryan Fitzpatrick and only registered two QB hits. DEs Shaun Ellis and Andre Carter need to win one-on-one battles and get to quarterbacks.

3. RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis: The Law Firm did not find many holes against last year's worst run defense. He rushed for more than four yards per carry in the team's first two games, but had just 18 yards on 10 carries (1.8-yard average) in Sunday's loss.

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