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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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