Patriots vs. Broncos: Three Week 12 Stars of the Game

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Nov 29, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) fails to a catch a pass while being defended by New England Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan (26) and free safety Devin McCourty (32) during the second half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 30-24. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Star Number One: Cornerback Logan Ryan

It has been Malcolm Butler getting all of the attention at the cornerback position for the Patriots this season. Do not get me wrong, Butler has been incredible, and is a huge reason for the Patriots’ defensive success this season. Butler is an elite shut-down cornerback in the making, but Logan Ryan was the guy to steal the show on Sunday night.

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Ryan was matched-up on Broncos’ star wide receiver Demaryius Thomas for a huge majority of this game. Thomas finished the game with one reception for 36 yards. His one catch came in the fourth quarter on a huge drive for the Broncos, but before that, Ryan completely shut Thomas down on 11 targets.

Thomas did not look at his best, but who’s to say Ryan didn’t have a lot to do with that? Zero receptions on 11 targets against one of the premier receivers in the entire NFL. Let that sink in a bit. Ryan was simply incredible on Sunday night, and is proving to be a strong contributor at the cornerback position for the Patriots.

Losing Darrelle Revis and company in the off season was supposed to leave a huge weakness at CB for the Patriots, but Ryan and Butler are proving to be an incredible duo. The cornerback position is undoubtedly a strength for the New England Patriots’ defense.

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Honorable Mentions: TE Rob Gronkowski, P Ryan Allen, RB Brandon Bolden, TE Scott Chandler and DL/LB Rob Ninkovich.