Well, that sure wasn't so fun. The Patriots fell in Week 5 in what can only be described as an extremely frustrating loss. The game was there to be had thanks to the New England defense, but the offense just couldn't string together any drive of real substance. With that in mind, here's this week's Risers and Fallers.
Jerod Mayo (LB) – Mayo had arguably his best game of the season. He was seemingly all over the field and made some really huge momentum-stopping tackles. He also made some big tackles to get the Patriots the ball back at the end of the first half, which set up one of their only two scores. I'm not sure if he was just having a great game or if he was seeing more action without Vince in front of him to stop opponents before they even made it past the first line. At any rate, Mayo, who is often quietly excellent, was nothing short of a beast today.
Brandon Spikes (LB) – In addition to his big red zone interception, Spikes came up big in stuffing the Cincinnati run game.
Chris Jones (DT) – With the spotlight thrust upon him in Wilfork's absence, the rookie played admirably, racking up 1.5 sacks on Andy Dalton.
Devin McCourty (DB) – He forced a big-time fumble late in the game to give the offense great field position, trailing by a touchdown. Unfortunately, the offense could do nothing with it.
Ryan Allen (P) – Allen saw tons of action, unfortunately. He made the most of it, however. In what was largely a field position game, the rookie managed to pin the Bengals deep on several occassions.
The Offensive Line – In what was clearly the biggest breakdown in the Patriots game plan, the offensive line allowed themselves to be shredded by the Bengals defense. Tom Brady was constantly under pressure all day and the running game was never established.
LeGarrette Blount (RB) – Coughed up a critical fumble to end one of the few successful drives that the offense had on Sunday.
Tom Brady (QB) – It's hard to figure out how much of this loss falls on Brady, as I don't know how much more he could have actually done to change the outcome of the game. He was constantly hurried, and when he wasn't the Bengals secondary produced good coverage. Still, the quarteback needs to shoulder some of the blame when a team only puts up six points.
Brandon Bolden (RB) – The running back was seriously suffering from a bad case of the dropsies on Sunday.
Julian Edelman (WR) – He seemed to be having trouble getting open and had some critical drops late in the game.
Aqib Talib (DB) – He's only listed as a faller because he didn't quite live up to his lofty play from earlier this season. He had some bad coverage on A.J. Green that set up the Bengals lone touchdown. He also failed to keep two feet in on what would have been an end zone interception. The Bengals ended up with a field goal instead. He kept the Pats in the game today, but came up short on some plays that could have changed the outcome.