Sunday, October 17, 2010
Ravens at Patriots halftime thoughts
By Tim Graham
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Observations from Gillette Stadium, where the New England Patriots trail the Baltimore Ravens 10-7 on Sunday afternoon:
- The Patriots' offense has been creative without Randy Moss. In fact, they've looked more like their offense of the past three seasons than they did with Moss through four games. The Patriots are spreading out their receivers and going with less multiple tight end sets than has been their norm.
- Even so, Tom Brady is having an uncharacteristically bad home game to this point. He has completed seven of his 13 attempts for 90 yards, no touchdowns, no interceptions. He has been off the mark on a couple short throws that normally are layups for him.
- BenJarvus Green-Ellis has the Patriots' lone touchdown, a 2-yard run. But they have had trouble generating a ground game against the stingy Ravens. Patriots running backs have seven carries for 17 yards. The longest run of the afternoon has been receiver Brandon Tate's 22-yard reverse.
- The Patriots' defense was its usual, ineffective self on third down to start the game, but tightened up a little. The Patriots went into the game dead last in stopping teams from converting. The Ravens converted third downs of 10 and 9 yards on their opening drive, which lasted 15 plays, went 81 yards and ended with a field goal. But the Ravens moved the chains only one more time in the first half.
- The last time I saw Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco live, he was less than spectacular on opening night against the New York Jets. He has been sharp so far against the Patriots, going 14 of 17 for 136 yards and a touchdown with zero interceptions. On the opening drive, he completed all five passes for 63 yards and two big third-down conversions.
- Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather can expect a fine for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Ravens tight end Todd Heap with 8:40 left in the second quarter. The ball had already sailed incomplete on a second-and-7 play, but Meriweather launched himself into Heap, who was defenseless.
- Rough game for Ravens left tackle Michael Oher: two false starts and a hold so far.