legarrette blount rushing bills

Week 17 Risers and Fallers

The 2013 regular season came to a close with the Patriots in the victory formation, wrapping up their 12th victory of the year and securing a first round bye.  Nearly every other season, this would be the moment where I turned my eyes to the post-season and started counting down the days until the first playoff game.  This year, however, I had other things on my mind.  You see, for eleven of the twelve playoff teams, the season will end with a sting of disappointment,and so the odds of a happy ending for the Patriots aren't overly high.  That's why I stopped and savored the moment as Tom Brady was kneeling out the clock.  In the heat of a playoff battle, there just won't be time to appreciate everything that this team has accomplished over the past sixteen games, and there's simply too much to be appreciated to let it go ignored.  

Think about Wes Welker signing with the Broncos…

Think about the summer of constant heat that Danny Amendola endured…

Think about the days over which the Aaron Hernandez saga played out…

Think about those first handful of games when the rookie receivers were dropping balls left and right…

Think about all the haters who were saying Tom Brady was washed up…

Think about Vince going down, and then Tommy Kelly, and then Mayo, and then Vollmer…

Think about the horrible calls costing this team games against the Jets and Panthers…

Think about waiting for Gronk to return, only to lose him again a few weeks later…

Think about those incredible last-second wins over the Saints, Broncos, and Browns…

 

After all of that…  

12-4.  First-round bye.  Two games from the Super Bowl.

 

Take it in.  Feel good about your team.  Championships are hard to come by.  Seasons this special are just as rare.  I don't know the ending yet, but I can assure you that the journey of this season itself has already been a tremendous win.  

 

Risers:

LeGarrette Blount (RB) - There was no finer player on the field yesterday than LeGarrette Blount.  He ran the Bills into the ground, scored two touchdowns, and set up additional scoring opportunities for the team with his huge 82 and 62-yard kickoff returns.  With Gronkowski out, somebody on the offensive side of the ball was going to have to step up and fill that void.  My money was on Vereen.  After the past two games, it looks like that person may be LeGarrette Blount.  He could run this team all the way to New Jersey if he keeps even a fraction of this production up.  

Logan Mankins (LG) - I had a flash of terror when Mankins appeared to be seriously injured.  Well, that was until I remembered that he once played an entire season with a torn ACL.  Mankins would need an amputation to qualify for IR.  The big fella came back and continued his solid protection of Brady and opened some nice holes in the running game.

Julian Edelman (WR) - It seems like he's on this list every week.  Look no further than his 100+ catches and 1,000+ yards this season to understand why.

 

Fallers:

Aaron Dobson (WR) - Injury may have played a role, but I've been looking for Dobson to step up and establish himself as a down the field threat for this team heading into the playoffs.  He hasn't stepped up so far.

Shane Vereen (RB) - His missed catch resulted in a Tom Brady INT.

 

Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

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