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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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