AOL News has a new home! The Huffington Post.

Click here to visit the new home of AOL News!

Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

Patrick Chung, Rob Ninkovich Steal Show for Pats

Oct 5, 2010 – 2:20 AM
Text Size
Andy Kent

Andy Kent %BloggerTitle%

Patrick Chung PatriotsMIAMI -- Think of the household names on the New England Patriots' roster, and there are plenty that come to mind before you get to Patrick Chung and Rob Ninkovich.

After Monday night's runaway 41-14 victory over the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium, though, Chung and Ninkovich might be able to score their own endorsement deals.

Each had a career night, and the fact that it came in a pivotal AFC East game only adds to the mystique. And if these two players are smart, they'll accept every radio and television interview request between now and the Patriots' next game, Oct. 17 back in Foxborough, Mass., against the Baltimore Ravens.

In addition to four tackles, Chung intercepted a Chad Henne pass and took it 51 yards for a touchdown, blocked a punt to set up a BenJarvus Green-Ellis TD run, and blocked a field goal -- a play that ended with New England's Kyle Arrington scooping the ball up and rumbling 35 yards for another score.

Ninkovich, meanwhile, had four tackles of his own, intercepted two Chad Henne passes and sacked Henne for a seven-yard loss two plays before Chung's blocked field goal.

For Ninkovich, his performance and the win were extra sweet because he was on Miami's practice squad in 2008 and also spent time with the Dolphins in 2007.

"It feels pretty good," said Ninkovich in an understatement. "You know, I was here as a practice-squad guy. Now that I'm here ... it feels good to play my old team."

As for his two interceptions, Ninkovich exposed a disconcerting trait of Henne's -- on both picks, Henne was looking right at his intended receiver, allowing Ninkovich to read the pass and jump the routes.

Chung admitted he never had a game like this in either college or high school, and credited New England special teams coach Scott O'Brien with preparing him and the other members of the punt-block and field goal-block teams.

"It opened up just like coach drew it up on the board, so you execute and things like that happen," Chung said. "That's something coach saw. I mean, we just practiced everything that happened in that game -- all those blocks, and people doing their job. I give it to them. If they're not doing their job nothing happens. So we executed. Coach drew it up and it happened just like he did it."

Filed under: Sports