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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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