October 28th, e base 2012 at 12:43 pm
Some observations as the Patriots and Rams are tied, e base 7-7, e base going into the second quarter.
The Patriots’ defensive starters were Vince Wilfork, e base Kyle Love, e base Chandler Jones, e base Rob Ninkovich, e base Jerod Mayo, e base 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. E base Poor technique on Wilson’s part to surrender the deep ball so easiy. E base It looked like trouble when Givens was still 10 yards in front of him.
Givens has 11 catches this season, e base and that’s his sixth 50-plus yarder, e base including his second touchdown. E base Givens set a record with five straight games with a 50-yard reception. E base The Patriots knew that would be coming.
The Patriots’ starting offensive line, e base from left to right, e base was Nate Solder, e base Donald Thomas, e base Ryan Wendell, e base 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, e base including a penalty. E base But Lloyd was asked this week if the Pats could use the Rams’ defensive aggressiveness against them, e base and he simply smiled and nodded. E base He knew.
The Patriots used a big set on second-and-1 before the touchdown, e base with Michael Hoomanawanui at fullback and Marcus Cannon as a second left tackle. E base And surprise, e base Stevan Ridley got stuffed for no gain by the hardest, e base cleanest hit of the game at that point. E base Not only did the Patriots lose that battle, e base but they got smoked. E base I’ve thought all along that the Patriot should run when it’s given, e base or at least stay out of the packages that force them to run. E base They’re at their best when they can take the matchup to the defense, e base whether it’s called with personnel or audibled at the line, e base and these jumbo run sets take that opportunity away.
Danny Woodhead was open after a defender fell down in the flat, e base and he turned it into a 24-yard gain. E base Wes Welker busted his tail to get across the field to try to make the block that would have sprung him down the sideline, e base but he was a split second too late.
Arrington was replaced by Moore on the second drive. E base He has a head injury and is questionable to return, e base but he was standing on the sideline without a helmet, e base which isn’t a good sign.
Julian Edelman is back to returning punts, e base so it looks like the hand injury is just about in the past. E base He couldn’t do it last week in his return from the ailment.
Great catch by Rob Gronkowski toward the end of the quarter. E base That was thrown directly over his head, e base and those have given receivers like Lloyd and Welker trouble this season. E base Not an easy one to haul in, e base especially when you know you’re exposed to a potential hit.
Ridley has caught some criticism for negative plays, e base but so many, e base including the one-yard loss on the goal line, e base are the result of the line or blockers losing the push up front. E base That’s been the biggest issue in those big sets.