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