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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: http://www.bostonherald.com/blogs/sports/blitz/index.php/2012/10/28/first-quarter-observations-brandon-lloyds-touchdown-has-pats-rams-tied-7-7/