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