New England Patriots: Grading Position Groups Week 12

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Nov 29, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) runs the ball against New England Patriots middle linebacker Jerod Mayo (51) during the second half at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 30-24. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports


Grade: C

A group that was already stretched thin got even thinner on Sunday when Dont’a Hightower left with a knee injury. With Jonathan Freeny, Jerod Mayo and Darius Fleming as the new linebacking group, the defense struggled with the run.

Freeny played well when blitzing the quarterback, however, he struggled in every other aspect of the game. Jerod Mayo does not seem like he will ever return to the player he was from 2008-2012 after a string of injuries, which is sad for one of the great leaders of this football team.

Hopefully, the Patriots can get either Jamie Collins or Dont’a Hightower back next week, as the defense struggles without them and there’s nobody else on the roster that can do an adequate job replacing them.

Next: Secondary