Patriots Report Card: Dane Fletcher Brings Solidarity to Linebacking Corps, Rob Gronkowski Earns MVP Honors

Patriots Report Card: Dane Fletcher Brings Solidarity to Linebacking Corps, Rob Gronkowski Earns MVP HonorsLANDOVER Md. — The Patriots improved to 10-3 by hanging on to beat the Redskins, 34-27, Sunday, and they’re a win or a Jets loss from wrapping up the AFC East.

It was a close call for the Patriots, who needed a defensive stand to protect the lead after Tom Brady threw an interception in Washington’s end zone.

Before shifting into full-on Tim Tebow mode, let’s take one more look at the win at Washington with the report card.

Offense

Jeff Howe: B

Brady and the offense hung 27 points on the Redskins, but they had three drives stall inside the 10-yard line — one crucial interception and two field goals.

What grade would you give the Patriots offense?

Defense

Jeff Howe: C

No doubt, there were three ugly quarters, but the defense put the team’s first touchdown on the board and then forced a turnover with the game on the line. Those two big plays were crucial for the victory.

What grade would you give the Patriots defense?

Special Teams

Jeff Howe: B

Nothing great, nothing awful. Stephen Gostkowski knocked home both of his short field-goal attempts.

What grade would you give the Patriots special teams?

Coaching

Jeff Howe: B

Again, nothing significant really stuck out. Bill O’Brien‘s heated exchange with Brady caused the greatest stir, but it’s hard to say at this point if that would have an adverse effect on the team.

What grade would you give the Patriots coaching?

Redskins

Jeff: B

Aside from some of Rex Grossman‘s awful throws and the defense’s inability to tackle Rob Gronkowski — join the club — the Redskins probably played the best game that they were capable of playing.

What grade would you give the Redskins?

MVP

Jeff Howe: Rob Gronkowski

Nothing new for Gronkowski, who has gotten used to this honor. But seriously, his spikes have been epic.

Unsung Hero

Jeff Howe: Dane Fletcher

 After missing six games with a thumb injury, Dane Fletcher started Sunday and had seven tackles and a quarterback hit. He played a pretty good game and added some solidarity next to Jerod Mayo, which is something that has been lacking this season due to a string of injuries. Also, linebacker Tracy White deserves some recognition, and he got plenty of it from his teammates, who credited him for helping jar the ball loose before Mayo’s interception.

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