Quick-hit thoughts on second quarter

October, 14, 2012
10/14/12
5:35
PM ET
After one half of play, the Patriots lead the Seahawks, 17-10. Passing along notes and observations from the second quarter:

1. Offense in a groove. The Patriots' opening offensive drive was halted, but New England went on to score on three consecutive drives. On the first drive of the second quarter, the Patriots were methodical in maneuvering down the field, mixing in a variety of tempo and paces. The drive was capped off by a picturesque throw from Tom Brady to a fading Aaron Hernandez, who capitalized for his third catch of the afternoon.

2. Defensive adjustments. After allowing Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to do damage with his feet in the first quarter, it appears the Patriots inserted a quick fix with a premium being placed on containing the edges of the line of scrimmage. It looked as though their defensive ends worked hard to not run past Wilson in the pocket or travel inside and create a lane for him to run.

3. Jones does it again. Rookie defensive end Chandler Jones continues his torrid pace to begin his career, bursting around the edge and strip-sacking Wilson for his fourth sack of the season. It's hard not to be amazed by what he has been able to bring to the defense so far in 2012, and he's complimented extremely well by Rob Ninkovich, the sturdy veteran who recovered the fumble forced by Jones.

4. Welker shaken up, returns. Receiver Wes Welker was on the wrong end of a big blow from imposing Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner, dropping a shoulder into Welker, who wasn't entirely suspecting of the hit after making a catch. Welker was forced to leave for a few plays, but showed his unbelievable toughness by returning to the game and moving the chains on a key third-down play. Welker's play in recent games has been invaluable to the Patriots' offense.

5. Penalty box. The following Patriots were called for penalties during the second quarter: Tight end Aaron Hernandez (illegal shift), quarterback Tom Brady (intentional grounding).
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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