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Patriots players of the week: Week Eight

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Posted Oct. 30, 2011 @ 11:57 p.m. ET
By Kevin Fishbain

Here are the offensive, defensive and special-teams players of the week from the Patriots' Week Eight loss to the Steelers.

Offense: TE Rob Gronkowski

In a game in which the Steelers took WR Wes Welker and TE Aaron Hernandez out of the equation for Tom Brady, Gronk stepped up in some key situations. He led the team with seven receptions for 94 yards, a year after scoring three touchdowns against Steelers. If it wasn't for a missed call by the officials, Gronkowski would have had a touchdown as well.

Defense: DE Andre Carter

Carter continued his elevated play, looking like the Patriots' best addition in free agency. He had five tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in the loss. Carter has 4½ sacks on the season and had another good game against the run. On a day when there were few, if any, highlights on defense, Carter played well.

Special teams: P Zoltan Mesko

Overall, it was an ugly game for the Patriots' special teams, as PK Stephen Gostkowski missed a field goal and botched an onside kick attempt. Mesko gets the honors for his 42-yard average on punts. He dropped one inside the 20-yard line and had a long of 53 yards.

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