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Quick-hit thoughts from the first quarter

11/18/2012

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- After one quarter of play, the Patriots trail the Colts 14-7. Passing along some quick-hit notes and observations from the first quarter.

1. Talib starts at left cornerback. As expected, cornerback Aqib Talib is suited up and was in the starting lineup. He's taken over the left side of the defense, where Devin McCourty previously played before shifting to safety. On the very first play of the game, Talib was involved in a tackle of Colts receiver Reggie Wayne. He later was targeted on a 25-yard pass down the right sideline, and a 14-yard touchdown to T.Y. Hilton. We'll continue to closely monitor Talib's play throughout the afternoon.

2. McDonald, Thomas start at guard. With both Logan Mankins and Dan Connolly inactive due to injury, the Patriots inserted Donald Thomas and Nick McDonald into their starting lineup. Each played in spot duty during Week 10, and from this vantage point performed at a very respectable level. That leaves Mitch Petrus, signed this week, as the Patriots' top reserve interior lineman.

3. Offenses exchange touchdowns early. After a pass interference penalty on cornerback Kyle Arrington catapulted the Colts down the field on their opening drive, Delone Carter took a handoff for an easy one-yard score. The Patriots wasted no time returning the favor, as Tom Brady looked early and often to tight end Rob Gronkowski, eventually hooking up with him for a five-yard score. Gronk had three catches for 56-yards on the first drive.

4. DE Jones goes down. Rookie defensive end Chandler Jones was shaken up on a run play and had the Patriots' medical staff tending to him on the field. It appeared to be a right ankle or foot issue for Jones, although there is no official word on his status for the remainder of the game. Jermaine Cunningham replaced Jones.

5. Penalty box. The following Patriots were flagged for penalties in the first quarter: cornerback Kyle Arrington (pass interference, holding - penalty declined).