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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: http://www.bostonherald.com/blogs/sports/blitz/index.php/2012/10/28/first-quarter-observations-brandon-lloyds-touchdown-has-pats-rams-tied-7-7/