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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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