Quick-hit thoughts after 3rd quarter

October, 2, 2011
10/02/11
6:27
PM ET
OAKLAND – Quick-hit thoughts from the third quarter, with the Patriots leading 24-13:

1. It was 15 minutes of clock control, with both teams holding on to the ball on offense. The Patriots had two drives, the Raiders one.

2. Rookie running back Stevan Ridley has been a bright spot for the Patriots. He played six snaps on the opening drive of the second half, capping it off with a 33-yard touchdown run. His running style, which combines speed and power, is a nice addition to the offense. With Danny Woodhead out with injury in the second half, Ridley figures to get more time.

3. Receiver Wes Welker continues to impress. When the Patriots “got to have it”, No. 83 usually delivers. That third-down catch in which he took a big hit highlighted his concentration and toughness. Welker’s one downer was an illegal motion penalty that wiped out a Chad Ochocinco reception.

4. It hasn’t been pretty, and many of the same issues that have hurt the Patriots defense over the last few years remain, but credit to the unit for coming up with a big stop on the Raiders’ opening drive. The Raiders settled for a field goal. The Patriots’ depth is thinned, as evidenced by career special teamer Tracy White playing as a sub linebacker.

5. Unusual to see the referees reverse a pass interference penalty on Kyle Arrington, with referee Tony Corrente announcing that after further discussion, the officials determined that Arrington and Jacoby Ford got their feet tangled.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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