Another week, and another edition of three ups and downs is being written for your (dis)pleasure. The New England Patriots had a chance to lock down the number two seed in the AFC with a win at home against the Miami Dolphins yesterday. Well, that didn't exactly happen. The Dolphins came into Gillette and shocked the Patriots with a late touchdown to win the game 27-24. This puts the Patriots at 12-4, the three seed in the AFC, and sets up a Wild Card weekend game at home against the Tennessee Titans. But before we focus on the Titans, let's revisit the Dolphins game.
Up: Mohamed Sanu
Three catches for 35 yards isn't a lot. But, it's a decent game at this point for Mohamed Sanu. Sanu has come out and admitted he hasn't played his best football in New England. Well, no duh! We've seen that and understand that. But yesterday he caught some passes, both easy and difficult. He was able to extend some plays. It was nice to see Sanu get on the same page as Brady. It may be too little, too late, but what can you do at this point?
Down: Stephon Gilmore
I mean, this is just flat out unacceptable. Stephon Gilmore has gotten some attention around the NFL for his play in 2019. He's even had rumblings that he could win the Defensive Player of the Year award. Yesterday was EASILY his worst game of the season. You see the quote, he feels like he let the team down. Devante Parker went off for 8 catches for 137 yards, and Gilmore was on him for a good portion of the game. Gilmore needs to flip the switch and fast for this Patriots defense to come through Saturday.
Up: Sony Michel
Sony Michel has been much better the last quarter of the season. He had 18 rushes for 74 yards yesterday, averaging 4.1 yards per carry. It's nice to see Michel get back to what he did last year. He's hitting holes as well as extending drives for the Patriots. He'll have to do the same thing on Saturday.
Down: Julian Edelman
Where was Julian Edelman yesterday? It was basically like he wasn't there at all. 3 catches for 26 yards on the day? Yeah, Edelman should have had a field day against the Dolphins. Hopefully playoff Edelman comes out to play starting on Saturday. That Edelman we saw yesterday just isn't going to cut it.
Up: Rex Burkhead
Burkhead has been a spark plug for this Patriots offense lately. He has been the bruising running back that the Patriots have needed these past few weeks. Six rushes for 48 yards is a decent day at the office. Burkhead will need to bring his bone bruising self to Gillette on Saturday and take it to Tennessee.
Down: Benjamin Watson
Watson hasn't been great all season. He had one catch for four yards on the day. He had an offensive pass interference that took back a big play to Mohamed Sanu over the middle. Watson hasn't been nearly productive this season. He probably will end up retiring at the end of the year. The production just isn't there anymore for the big tight end.
We're on to Tennessee!