FOXBORO, Mass. — What an absolutely insane win for the Patriots. Here are this week’s five stars of the game for the Patriots:
Julian Edelman. While everyone wanted to talk about Danny Amendola and Wes Welker all week, Edelman had the most productive game of all three slot receivers.
The former college quarterback caught nine passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Brady missed just one pass intended for the fifth-year player.
Peyton Manning took the first half, though his running game did most of the damage, while Brady took the second half, hitting Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski and Kenbrell Thompkins all over the field.
Dane Fletcher. The defense got a spark when Fletcher replaced Dont’a Hightower in the second half. Fletcher was all over the field while playing inside linebacker next to Brandon Spikes.
Fletcher should receive more snaps moving forward. He’s played well in dime this season and has had two nice games back to back. He led the defense in Hightower’s stead.
Tom Brady. What else is there to say about Brady? At the half, he was 10-for-17 with 81 yards. He finished 34-for-50 with 344 yards and three touchdowns.
Brady had some help from the defense, but his performance in the second half was among his best ever.
Chandler Jones. The second-year defensive end has 10 1/2 sacks on the season now. He drilled Manning on another pass rush. He also drew a holding penalty in the fourth quarter that could have been big.
Jones has had some easy sacks this year, but he leads the team in pressures and has done a good job all season getting into the backfield. The whole run defense had a tough time stopping Knowshon Moreno, and at times, Jones was no exception.
Shane Vereen. Vereen had a costly drop that looked identical to one of the ones he had in Carolina, but while Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount got benched for fumbling, Vereen was dependable, catching eight passes for 60 yards.
Vereen has been a huge addition to the offense since coming back from short-term injured reserve. Brady really missed his third-down back.