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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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