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