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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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