October 28th, allergy 2012 at 12:43 pm
Some observations as the Patriots and Rams are tied, allergy 7-7, allergy going into the second quarter.
The Patriots’ defensive starters were Vince Wilfork, allergy Kyle Love, allergy Chandler Jones, allergy Rob Ninkovich, allergy Jerod Mayo, allergy 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. Allergy Poor technique on Wilson’s part to surrender the deep ball so easiy. Allergy It looked like trouble when Givens was still 10 yards in front of him.
Givens has 11 catches this season, allergy and that’s his sixth 50-plus yarder, allergy including his second touchdown. Allergy Givens set a record with five straight games with a 50-yard reception. Allergy The Patriots knew that would be coming.
The Patriots’ starting offensive line, allergy from left to right, allergy was Nate Solder, allergy Donald Thomas, allergy Ryan Wendell, allergy 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, allergy including a penalty. Allergy But Lloyd was asked this week if the Pats could use the Rams’ defensive aggressiveness against them, allergy and he simply smiled and nodded. Allergy He knew.
The Patriots used a big set on second-and-1 before the touchdown, allergy with Michael Hoomanawanui at fullback and Marcus Cannon as a second left tackle. Allergy And surprise, allergy Stevan Ridley got stuffed for no gain by the hardest, allergy cleanest hit of the game at that point. Allergy Not only did the Patriots lose that battle, allergy but they got smoked. Allergy I’ve thought all along that the Patriot should run when it’s given, allergy or at least stay out of the packages that force them to run. Allergy They’re at their best when they can take the matchup to the defense, allergy whether it’s called with personnel or audibled at the line, allergy and these jumbo run sets take that opportunity away.
Danny Woodhead was open after a defender fell down in the flat, allergy and he turned it into a 24-yard gain. Allergy Wes Welker busted his tail to get across the field to try to make the block that would have sprung him down the sideline, allergy but he was a split second too late.
Arrington was replaced by Moore on the second drive. Allergy He has a head injury and is questionable to return, allergy but he was standing on the sideline without a helmet, allergy which isn’t a good sign.
Julian Edelman is back to returning punts, allergy so it looks like the hand injury is just about in the past. Allergy He couldn’t do it last week in his return from the ailment.
Great catch by Rob Gronkowski toward the end of the quarter. Allergy That was thrown directly over his head, allergy and those have given receivers like Lloyd and Welker trouble this season. Allergy Not an easy one to haul in, allergy especially when you know you’re exposed to a potential hit.
Ridley has caught some criticism for negative plays, allergy but so many, allergy including the one-yard loss on the goal line, allergy are the result of the line or blockers losing the push up front. Allergy That’s been the biggest issue in those big sets.