Quick-hit thoughts after 2nd quarter

October, 2, 2011
10/02/11
5:41
PM ET
OAKLAND – Quick-hit thoughts from the second quarter as the Patriots lead 17-10 at the half:

1. Ugly half.

2. Linebacker Jerod Mayo’s left knee injury has potential to have a huge ripple-down effect. Mayo needed help coming off the field and was replaced by Gary Guyton. He is the signal-caller on defense and plays every snap. Perhaps it was a coincidence, but it wasn’t long after Mayo departed that the Patriots were flagged for having 12 men on the field. Mayo was carted to the locker room at the half.

3. Running back Danny Woodhead also limped off the field, unable to put much pressure on his left foot, so his status bears monitoring as well.

4. Patriots defense continues to give up big plays. Darren McFadden’s 41-yard run set up the Raiders’ first touchdown on an 88-yard, 6-play scoring drive that took just more than three minutes. This is not a defense that inspires much confidence right now.

5. Defensive lineman Shaun Ellis was in position to make a play on receiver Jacoby Ford’s run, but his failure to do so resulted in a big gain. That play reflected the struggles of the unit.

6. A gift interception from Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell to Patrick Chung in the end zone ended that drive. There was no Raider in the area. That was a 10-point swing, with kicker Stephen Gostkowski hitting a 44-yard field goal at the end of the half.

7. Outside of the two-minute offense, not seeing a lot of Chad Ochocinco on the field. While Ochocinco ran a nice route in the first quarter that contributed to Wes Welker’s touchdown catch, he is seeing some of his snaps taken by Julian Edelman and even Matthew Slater in this game.

8. Rookie running back Stevan Ridley continues to be integrated into the running back rotation more. After playing 11 snaps last week, he was on for five in the first half.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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