Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 12/19/11

New England Patriots – 41, Denver Broncos – 23
Let’s not crown a new prince of the NFL just yet, as Tom Brady (322 total yards, 3 TDs) showed that he’s still the cream of the crop in this league, beating down Tim Tebow (287 total yards, 2 TDs) and a Broncos team that hung for most of the first half before being clearly out-classed by a better team.  Brady was his picture-perfect self, hitting 8 different receivers and effectively carving up a defense that has been hot for over a month now.  Tebow didn’t have a lot of trouble moving the ball, but he couldn’t get the scores when they counted, even though they were playing against one of the worst defenses in the league.
This was finally the week that it was Aaron Hernadez’s (9-129, 1 TD) turn to blow up from the tight end position, as the Broncos obviously set out to stop the likes of Wes Welker (4-41) and Rob Gronkowski (4-53).  Welker and the Gronk have had huge success this year because teams didn’t sell out to stop them, or couldn’t; the Broncos did, and Brady made them pay by looking at Hernandez for most of the game.  Hernandez is still uber talented, and in leagues where you don’t have one of the top five or six guys, Hernandez is one of the most attractive TEs left because of his extremely high upside.

Demaryius Thomas (7-116) has clearly taken over as the #1 option for Tebow, almost to the exclusion of all other receivers.  It’s apparent this style of offense has room for only one fantasy-relevant receiver, and Thomas is it.

The Patriots mess at running back continues as both BenJarvus Green-Ellis (10 car., 17 yards, 1 TD; 2 rec., 32 yards) and Danny Woodhead (7 car., 40 yards, 1 TD; 1 rec., 12 yards) scored, but at the end of the game it was Stevan Ridley (11 car., 65 yards) that ended up with the most carries and yards.  Avoid this mess if you can.

This was a down game for Willis McGahee (7 car., 70 yards), mostly because he left in the second half with an apparent leg injury.  McGahee should be fine for next week when he gets another juicy matchup, the Buffalo Bills.
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