New England Patriots: Grading Position Groups Week 12

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Nov 29, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski (3) makes a game tying field goal during the second half as Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib (21) looks on at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 30-24. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Special Teams/Coaching

Grade: A*

The Patriots special teams were fantastic all night. Ryan Allen was arguably the team MVP, as he pinned the Broncos inside the 20 time and time again. Stephen Gostkowski hit two field goals, one of which was a 47-yarder in the snow to send the game into overtime. As a whole, special teams were flawless— Well, except for Chris Harper’s muffed punt.

The Patriots had the game in hand. It was 21-7 in the fourth quarter, Denver couldn’t do anything on offense, and all the Patriots had to do was not make a mistake.

Easier said than done.

Chris Harper’s fumble changed the momentum of the game, and if he lets that ball bounce, the Patriots most likely win that football game. Chris Harper puts an asterisks on an overall great special teams game.

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Coaching, meanwhile, was solid as usual. They had to yet again deal with major injuries, and they seemed to handle them as best they could have. Aside from telling Chris Harper to not catch the punt, there’s not much more this staff could have done. Unsurprisingly, the Patriots have cut Harper from their roster.

Bill Belichick is not a forgiving person.