Game Balls & Goats: Patrots - Broncos

Matt Cassel (AP Photo)

The Patriots trounced the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football 41-7. Plenty of kudos go to the players and the coaches for the win, but who deserves a real game ball. Our staff hands out game balls and Goats… share your own.

GAME BALLS

1) Rodney Harrison - The injury looks bad, and if this is Rodney's last game as a Pat, then he at least deserves a game ball for keep the defense focused in a week they could have become unglued.

2) Randy Moss - It only took a few weeks of playing second fiddle to get Randy Moss back into the groove he's enjoyed previously in Foxboro. Moss' threat to go deep every play opened up the entire offense underneath, including Denver's rush defense. Moss was the key even when he wasn't getting the ball.

3) Sammy Morris - Major credit for the game goes to Morris who put Denver on it's heels early and kept them off balance most of the night. Again, another injury derailed Morris' final productivity, but he still managed 16 carries for 138 yards and a touchdown. If the injury is minor, New England may have found their future back .


Honorable Mentions:
Gary Guyton -- Played much of the game as a middle backer, grabbed a fumble recovery which he picked out of the air by tapping it to himself. The move snuffed out a Denver first half comeback. The next drive in the second half he combined a tackle t make the Broncos go 3 and out.

Run Blocking - what they couldn't do in the passing game, they fixed in the run game. Pats gained 257 yards on the ground, good enough to poist their best rushing output in Belichick's tenure.

Matt Cassel - 18 of 24 completion percentage with 185 yards and 3 TDs earned him a 136.3 passer rating, his best of the year.

Turnover Participants-- Brandon Meriweather, Ty Warren, Mike Wright, Lewis Sanders, Gary Guyton, Le Kevin Smith and James Sanders


GOATS

1) Pass blocking - though they opened holes on the line, the right side of the offensive line Billy Yates and Mark LeVoir whiffed on blocks early. The pair earned their goats by not finishing off blocks when they could, and not walling off defenders (blitzers) when they needed to.

2) Laurence Maroney - for getting hurt and not playing… for the rest of the year. Is he ever going to live up to his Draft status?

3) TV Crew - Will ESPN ever learn from their mistakes on Monday Night? The three stooges who poked fun at Matt Cassel and the Patriots leading up to the game, reversed their opinions during the broadcast. When you'd rather listen to the radio (even with the delay) than the banter from the booth, that doesn't bode well for the broadcast crew. Not showing Andre Tippett's speach at half time. "F" fellas... solid "F."

Dishonorable Mentions:
Jerry Jones For being so egotistical that he actually managed to get prime time billing as part of the problems in Dallas during a Monday Night game. Less Jerry might actually help the Cowboys image.

San Francisco - For making the decision to make a coaching change from Mike Nolan to Mike Singletary during the Monday Night game. That's embarrassing.

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