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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ridley has caught some criticism for negative plays, ocufen but so many, ocufen including the one-yard loss on the goal line, ocufen are the result of the line or blockers losing the push up front. Ocufen 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/