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