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

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

The Patriots’ defensive starters were Vince Wilfork, avalox Kyle Love, avalox Chandler Jones, avalox Rob Ninkovich, avalox Jerod Mayo, avalox 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. Avalox Poor technique on Wilson’s part to surrender the deep ball so easiy. Avalox It looked like trouble when Givens was still 10 yards in front of him.

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

The Patriots’ starting offensive line, avalox from left to right, avalox was Nate Solder, avalox Donald Thomas, avalox Ryan Wendell, avalox 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, avalox including a penalty. Avalox But Lloyd was asked this week if the Pats could use the Rams’ defensive aggressiveness against them, avalox and he simply smiled and nodded. Avalox He knew.

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

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

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

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

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

Ridley has caught some criticism for negative plays, avalox but so many, avalox including the one-yard loss on the goal line, avalox are the result of the line or blockers losing the push up front. Avalox 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/