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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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