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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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