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Gold Stars, Penalty Flags: Marcus Cannon, James Develin Among Unsung Patriots

BOSTON (CBS) -- This was a big win for the Patriots. They historically have struggled in Denver, so it was huge for them to go in there and win. The Pats got a hat and a t-shirt after their victory.

Here are your gold stars and penalty flags.

The Gold Stars

Marcus Cannon gets a gold star. Coming into this game, stopping Von Miller was job number one. That task fell on Cannon, and he did his job. Miller had four tackles and no sacks and left the game late in the second half. Cannon got schooled by Miller in the AFC Championship game last year so his improvement has been something to see. This was his biggest test of the season. It happened on the road, in a loud venue and he passed with flying colors. The extension that he's received from the Pats is well deserved.

Dion Lewis gets a gold star. I think everyone thought LeGarrette Blount would be the ball carrier in this one but the Pats changed it up and showcased Dion Lewis, who had 18 carries for 95 yards. The Pats made use of his small size and ran him in between the tackles. Lewis also had two catches for nine yards. He was a major part of the game plan and didn't disappoint. It's nice to have him back.

James Develin gets a gold star. To watch James Develin pave the way for the Patriots running back group is something special.  You can see how much the Pats missed him in the running game last year when he was out with injury. Develin brings toughness and grit to that group. Against the Broncos, he stood up defensive linemen so Lewis, Blount and James White could get through the holes. He also caught a pass that set up Blount's touchdown. He may be one of the most underrated players on this team.

Trey Flowers and Malcom Brown deserve gold stars. Trey Flowers' emergence has been something.  It's made people forget about the Jamie Collins situation. He has become a solid pass rusher and two sacks against the Broncos just added to his total on the season.

This may have been Malcom Brown's best game, as he could be seen creating pressure on Trevor Siemian and clogging the middle. He also spent a ton of time in the backfield. A special nod of the cap to Kyle Van Noy and Jabaal Sheard. The defense as a whole had a great game.

The Penalty Flags

Chris Hogan gets a penalty flag. I'm nitpicking here. He had a drop but it was his first drop of the season. Can't really be that upset with him. He's been such a great pickup for the team. Just hold on to the ball.

T.J. Ward gets a penalty flag. The safety committed an obvious unnecessary roughness call, and he was flexing afterwards. Just an idiot move that hurt his team. He's a hard-nosed player but on that play where he threw Julian Edelman, he was playing "me" football.

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