Brandon LaFell gives himself an 'F' after day of drops

Brandon LaFell's season debut was one to forget.

The New England Patriots wide receiver was activated from the PUP list in time for Sunday's showdown against the second-place New York Jets, and the Pats gave LaFell an immediate role in their game plan. The only problem? LaFell could not catch the football.

LaFell had two receptions for 25 yards on eight targets and was tagged (unofficially) with six drops. Butterfingers was a recurring theme in New England's 30-23 win -- the Pats had 10 drops in all -- but LaFell was, by far, the biggest culprit.

"If I had to give myself a grade, it would be 'F'," he said after the game, per "I let the ball get out of my hands too many times. Tom (Brady) threw some good balls and I should have caught them. But overall, man, we got the win. I just have to get back into it. We have a short week, dust the cobwebs out, and come back out and play a better game."

LaFell was clearly rusty. He missed all of training camp with a foot injury and had just three practices before suiting up against the Jets. He figures to bite into Danny Amendola's playing time, though Sunday's struggles -- coupled with a strong Amendola game (8/86/1) -- could give the Pats more reason to ease LaFell back in the mix.

All that said, LaFell emerged as one of New England's most productive receivers in 2014, totaling over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns over the regular season and Super Bowl run. LaFell said Brady told him during his nightmare afternoon that he would continue to target him. We don't believe one bad day at the office will change that.

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