Quick-hit thoughts after 1st quarter

November, 6, 2011
11/06/11
4:47
PM ET
Quick-hit thoughts after the first quarter of the Patriots’ game against the Giants (0-0 score):

1. Not an exciting quarter … unless you like to critique punters.

2. Linebacker Jerod Mayo, after playing 31 of 80 snaps last week, is back to a full-time role. He’s leading the huddle after giving way to Brandon Spikes/Gary Guyton in that role last week.

3. The Patriots made a decisive effort on their first two offensive plays to establish the run. Starting at their own 5, they had offensive tackle Nate Solder on as a second tight end for BenJarvus Green-Ellis’ 18-yard run, then had Solder stay on, while adding center/guard Ryan Wendell as a fullback, on the next play – a run for no gain.

4. Overall, Solder was on as an eligible tight end for eight snaps.

5. Brandon Spikes' big hit on Giants tight end Jake Ballard to end New York’s second drive drew big “oohs” and “aahs” in the stadium. One reporter in the press box said, “Shades of Bryan Cox,” thinking back to Cox’ hit in the 2001 season against the Colts.

6. In the nickel defense (5 defensive backs), cornerback Phillip Adams is playing over Antwaun Molden. Last week in Pittsburgh, it was Molden in that role before he was replaced by Adams in the third quarter.

7. On the Patriots’ second drive, they faced a third-and-1 and ran with Danny Woodhead (the Giants came up with the stop). It seemed curious that the Patriots would run inside with Woodhead, instead of keeping Green-Ellis in the game or going with rookie Stevan Ridley.

8. Defensive lineman Vince Wilfork headed to the locker room on his own during the Patriots’ second offensive series. He missed two defensive plays on the Patriots’ third series, giving way to Gerard Warren, before returning to the field.

9. No snaps for defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth in the first 15 minutes.

10. After rotating at right tackle last week with Sebastian Vollmer and Solder, the Patriots are going exclusively with Vollmer in this game.

11. Tom Brady's legs usually don't produce first downs, but his scramble on third-and-4 did just that on the Patriots' third drive.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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