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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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