New England Patriots: Grading Position Groups Week 12

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Nov 29, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones (95) dances following his interception of Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) (not pictured) in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Line

Grade: B+

While they only registered three sacks on Brock Osweiler, the defensive line was disruptive all night long. Alan Branch had his best game in a Patriots’ uniform, registering a few hits on the quarterback while clogging up the middle.

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Rookie first-round pick Malcom Brown continues to impress as well, and both he and Branch have formed a formidable duo in the middle of the line.

Rob Ninkovich got a sack, and Chandler Jones came close a few times. Jones even brought in a huge interception off of a tipped pass.

A key play came when Osweiler was strip sacked, and the ball landed right next to Akiem Hicks. However, Hicks was on his back, and he was not able to recover it. A turnover here would have basically ended the game, but instead, the Broncos drive stayed alive.

The run defense suffered after the loss of Hightower, because they had very little help from the linebackers after he left.

Next: Linebackers