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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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