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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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