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