Patriots players of the week: Week 15

Posted Dec. 19, 2011 @ 1:55 a.m.
Posted By Kevin Fishbain

The Patriots' offensive, defensive and special-teams players of the week from their Week 15 win over the Broncos.

Offense: QB Tom Brady

Brady coolly threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns in the win, utilizing Aaron Hernandez with Deion Branch out and the Broncos doing a good job on Rob Gronkowski. Hernandez's 9-129-1 receiving day garners him honorable mention here, but it was Brady's throws, again, that gave the Pats the win.

Defense: DE Mark Anderson

The pass-rush specialist replaced DE Andre Carter, who left early with a quad injury, and had two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, making big plays to push the Broncos back. Credit also goes to DT Kyle Love, who had only one tackle, but half a sack and was often getting penetration, allowing the pocket to close on Tim Tebow.

Special teams: WR Julian Edelman

Edelman led the team with three special-teams tackles, and they were effective, open-field tackles at that. He stuffed return man Quan Cosboy at the Broncos' 18-yard line on kickoffs in the first and second quarters and pinned Cosby at the eight-yard line on a punt return. Edelman had three punt returns for 23 yards. Dane Fletcher had a big fumble recovery on a punt that led to a Patriots field goal to end the first half.