New England Patriots Week 12 Stock Report
It sounds like someone had a case of the Mondays.
That might be true, but these struggles weren't necessarily new, either. The Patriots also struggled in Week 11 against the New York Giants, and after winning their first eight games by an average of 16.6 points per game, they have won their last two games by a combined eight points.
As is the case with any game this close, some players rose to the occasion and delivered big performances, while others fell short of their duty to do everything they could to help the team win. Here's a look at those players on either end of the spectrum.
Stock Up: James White
As one piece after another has fallen off the Patriots offense because of injury, the team needs more players to make up for the lost production.
Running back James White had his first moment in the sun Monday night, with two touchdowns on four touches—two catches and two carries. It was his first and second career touchdowns, and with one each as a runner and receiver, it showed off his potential to fill in for the injured Dion Lewis.
It's possible that White was just a matchup piece against the Buffalo Bills, but it's also possible the Patriots see in him a replacement for Lewis.
Stock Down: Offensive Line
Tom Brady had the worst performance he's had this season, and it was all thanks to the offensive line. He dropped back to throw 40 times and was under pressure on 20 of them, according to Pro Football Focus. He only took one sack as a result of that pressure, but he had to throw the ball away six times because of it.
The Patriots have dealt with several injuries on the offensive line this season already, but several players have recently made their returns. Bryan Stork, Marcus Cannon and Sebastian Vollmer all missed some time this season, but all three were in the lineup Monday, with Cannon and Vollmer making their returns from injury.
The Patriots continue to rotate offensive linemen instead of have them play every snap together. That's the strategy that has worked for them at times, but the rest of the season will test their faith.
Stock Up: Danny Amendola
Julian Edelman went down last week against the New York Giants, and Danny Amendola stepped right up in his place. Tom Brady completed 20 passes Monday night against the Bills, and nine of them went to Amendola. The veteran receiver also had 117 receiving yards and would have had even more yards and a touchdown to his name were it not for Whistlegate.
Amendola has really elevated his play after a slow start to his Patriots career, and with Edelman down, his opportunities will only continue to expand. Even when Edelman returns to the offense, Amendola should still remain a factor.
Amendola is just 15 receptions, 147 yards and two touchdowns away from setting new career highs. Given the way he's playing lately, he will have no problem hitting those marks.
Stock Down: Tom Brady
Well, I said I wasn't going to put Brady in this column anymore unless he did something extraordinary, but I didn't think it would happen in a negative way.
On Monday, Brady completed just 20 of his 39 passes for 277 yards, one touchdown, one interception and a 72.3 passer rating. Most of those numbers are the lowest of the season for him. Granted, he was under such an immense amount of pressure Monday night and was without some of his most reliable targets, but it was still not a banner night for Brady.
Fortunately for the Patriots, one thing they learned about themselves Monday night is that they can win even when Brady isn't playing his best. The Patriots will face another difficult test this week against the Denver Broncos and the No. 1 pass defense in the NFL, so they may need to win without Brady putting up video game numbers.
Stock Up: Logan Ryan
At times in 2015, Logan Ryan has been a whipping boy of the Patriots secondary. In Week 11, he was a rock. Tyrod Taylor targeted Ryan five times in coverage, and he gave up just one reception for four yards. According to Pro Football Focus, this was the first time in the past six games that Ryan has given up fewer than three receptions into his coverage.
Ryan also had six tackles Monday night and has missed just one tackle all season, which makes him one of the five most efficient tackling cornerbacks in the NFL.
Ryan has had an up-and-down start to his Patriots career, and in his third year, he still hasn't developed into a bona fide shutdown cornerback. The Patriots may never have expected him to develop into that level of player, but he has enough talent to be a formidable option in the secondary. He showed that Monday night.
Unless otherwise noted, all advanced statistics obtained via Pro Football Focus.