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Week 2 Patriots vs Saints: 7 winners and 5 losers of New England's 36-20 victory

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Who looked good yesterday and who did not?

NFL: New England Patriots at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

After their lackluster performance on opening day, the New England Patriots were able to bounce back in impressive fashion yesterday. The team dominated the New Orleans Saints on the road en route to a 36-20 victory. But despite the defending world champions played a good game in all three phases, not all was perfect.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the winners and losers of the Patriots' week to matchup:

Winner: RB Mike Gillislee

While he averaged only 3.8 yards per rush, Mike Gillislee was able to follow his opening week performance with yet another very good game. Overall, the first-year Patriot carried the football 18 times for 69 yards and his fourth score of the season. Gillislee did not only prove to be a successful runner on the inside but was also able to hurt the Saints' defense with perimeter runs.

Loser: Skill position depth

Entering the game, the Patriots had only three wide receivers healthy and available – and two of them, Chris Hogan and Phillip Dorsett, were shaken up. Furthermore, tight end Rob Gronkowski and running back Rex Burkhead were both unable to finish the game due to a groin and a rib injury, respectively. While none of the injuries initially appeared to be serious, it is still a situation worth monitoring.

Winner: QB Tom Brady

After failing to complete 50% of his pass attemps last week, Tom Brady was able to bounce back big time yesterday. The future Hall of Famer was purely magnificent and completed 30 of 39 pass attempts for 447 yards and three touchdowns. As has been the case three years ago, Brady bounced back big time after a blowout loss against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Winner: RB James White

James White continues to prove that his Super Bowl performance was no fluke. Once again, the fourth-year man showed why he is one of the best all-around backs in the NFL: White caught a team-high eight passes against the Saints (for 85 yards) while carrying the football twice for 11 yards.

Loser: CB Malcolm Butler

Last year, Malcolm Butler rarely ever left the field. Yesterday's game, however, is a different story: The 27-year old played “only” 49 of 65 defensive snaps (75.4%). When on the field, Butler was up and down. While he did finish with a pass breakdown and two tackles, he also was in coverage on a mix-up with safety Patrick Chung that led to a Saints touchdown.

Winner: Josh McDaniels

After some questionable calls during last week's game against the Chiefs, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels bounced back with a very good performance – especially considering the injuries that occurred before and during the game. That the Patriots still finished with 555 offensive yards and 36 points is a testament to the team's offensive coordinator.

Winner: DE Deatrich Wise Jr.

Deatrich Wise Jr. has had a solid NFL debut last week against Kansas City and he followed it up with a dominant performance. The fourth round draft pick played only 28 of 65 defensive snaps (43.1%) but made the most out of them: He registered the Patriots' lone sack of the day and added five quarterback hits and two tackle for loss.

Loser: OT Nate Solder

Tom Brady was sacked two times and one of the two takedowns came courtesy of the defense beating left tackle Nate Solder. Overall, it was an up-and-down game for the 29-year old: While he had solid stretches, he also gave up pressures at inopportune times, for example on a 22-yard pass to Brandin Cooks, which would likely have been a touchdown had Brady not been forced to let it go early due to a pressure of his left side. Not ideal for a player in a contract year.

Winner: DE Adam Butler

He did not have the same impact as fellow rookie Deatrich Wise Jr. but Adam Butler still had a successful game. The undrafted signee played 45 of a possible 65 defensive snaps (69.2%) and did not look overwhelmed by the heavy workload. It remains to be seen whether or not Butler will continue to be one of the leading defensive linemen when it comes to playing time but the early look is encouraging.

Loser: DT Alan Branch

Butler's rise in playing time came at the expense of Alan Branch. The veteran, who re-signed on a two-year, $12.0 million contract in March, was on the field for only six defensive snaps. Of course, New Orleans' pass-heavy offense likely is a reason why but Branch rarely left the field last year in similar situations. Something to take a look at next week against the Houston Texans.

Winner: FB James Develin

Statistically, James Develin did not stand out: He caught one pass for six yards. However, his work as a blocker in the running game and a versatile chess piece in Patriots' the passing attack should not go overlooked. Yesterday, he was at his best in both departments: Develin looked very well in the running game despite being moved all over the formation.

Loser: LB David Harris

When he joined the Patriots in late June, veteran linebacker David Harris was seen as an intriguing addition in the middle of New England's defense. So far, however, he has not lived up to the hype. Yesterday, for example, Harris played only one defensive snap as Elandon Roberts and Kyle Van Noy clearly are ahead of him on the depth chart at this point in time.