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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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