Boston Herald
October 28th, apovent 2012 at 12:43 pm

Some observations as the Patriots and Rams are tied, apovent 7-7, apovent going into the second quarter.

The Patriots’ defensive starters were Vince Wilfork, apovent Kyle Love, apovent Chandler Jones, apovent Rob Ninkovich, apovent Jerod Mayo, apovent Brandon Spikes and Dont’a Hightower in a 4-3 base with Kyle Arrington (right) and Alfonzo Dennard (left) at corner and Devin McCourty and Tavon Wilson at safety.

Cornerback Sterling Moore subbed for Spikes in the nickel on the first drive of the game.

Hightower was lined up in the slot in man coverage on a receiver at one point.

Chris Givens beat Wilson on the touchdown because Wilson was too stiff and flat-footed while Givens ran full speed in his direction. Apovent Poor technique on Wilson’s part to surrender the deep ball so easiy. Apovent It looked like trouble when Givens was still 10 yards in front of him.

Givens has 11 catches this season, apovent and that’s his sixth 50-plus yarder, apovent including his second touchdown. Apovent Givens set a record with five straight games with a 50-yard reception. Apovent The Patriots knew that would be coming.

The Patriots’ starting offensive line, apovent from left to right, apovent was Nate Solder, apovent Donald Thomas, apovent Ryan Wendell, apovent Dan Connolly and Sebastian Vollmer.

Brandon Lloyd broke free from an aggressive look from cornerback Janoris Jenkins and scored an easy 19-yard touchdown on the Patriots’ third third-and-short conversion on the drive, apovent including a penalty. Apovent But Lloyd was asked this week if the Pats could use the Rams’ defensive aggressiveness against them, apovent and he simply smiled and nodded. Apovent He knew.

The Patriots used a big set on second-and-1 before the touchdown, apovent with Michael Hoomanawanui at fullback and Marcus Cannon as a second left tackle. Apovent And surprise, apovent Stevan Ridley got stuffed for no gain by the hardest, apovent cleanest hit of the game at that point. Apovent Not only did the Patriots lose that battle, apovent but they got smoked. Apovent I’ve thought all along that the Patriot should run when it’s given, apovent or at least stay out of the packages that force them to run. Apovent They’re at their best when they can take the matchup to the defense, apovent whether it’s called with personnel or audibled at the line, apovent and these jumbo run sets take that opportunity away.

Danny Woodhead was open after a defender fell down in the flat, apovent and he turned it into a 24-yard gain. Apovent Wes Welker busted his tail to get across the field to try to make the block that would have sprung him down the sideline, apovent but he was a split second too late.

Arrington was replaced by Moore on the second drive. Apovent He has a head injury and is questionable to return, apovent but he was standing on the sideline without a helmet, apovent which isn’t a good sign.

Julian Edelman is back to returning punts, apovent so it looks like the hand injury is just about in the past. Apovent He couldn’t do it last week in his return from the ailment.

Great catch by Rob Gronkowski toward the end of the quarter. Apovent That was thrown directly over his head, apovent and those have given receivers like Lloyd and Welker trouble this season. Apovent Not an easy one to haul in, apovent especially when you know you’re exposed to a potential hit.

Ridley has caught some criticism for negative plays, apovent but so many, apovent including the one-yard loss on the goal line, apovent are the result of the line or blockers losing the push up front. Apovent That’s been the biggest issue in those big sets.

Source: http://www.bostonherald.com/blogs/sports/blitz/index.php/2012/10/28/first-quarter-observations-brandon-lloyds-touchdown-has-pats-rams-tied-7-7/