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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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