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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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