Patriots vs. Jaguars: Final Player Grades, Report Card for New England

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Patriots vs. Jaguars: Final Player Grades, Report Card for New England
The Patriots won on Sunday, but it wasn't a game that they should proud of.

New England Patriots 23, Jacksonville Jaguars 16

The New England Patriots’ win on Sunday was very reminiscent of wins earlier this season against the New York Jets and their second game against the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots never truly took over the game, and at times it appeared they would lose control.

But even with a sputtering fourth-quarter offense and a bend-but-don’t-break defense, the Patriots survived to win thanks to clutch takeaways by the defense.

The Patriots were without some key players Sunday: tight end Rob Gronkowski, middle linebacker Brandon Spikes and cornerback Alfonzo Dennard were all inactive with injuries, while cornerback Aqib Talib battled a hip injury all day and played in very limited action.

As a result of the injuries on the defensive side of the ball, the Patriots looked much like the defense they were early in the season, before the rookie Dennard broke through and before they had acquired Talib via trade.

Which players most helped the Patriots pull out a victory, and which players’ struggles led to making this game against a two-win team much closer than it should have been? Read through the following slides to find out.

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