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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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