Sunday, November 6, 2011
Quick-hit thoughts after 2nd quarter
By Mike Reiss
Quick-hit thoughts after the second quarter of the Patriots’ game against the Giants (0-0):
1. This is a struggle for both teams. A lot of sloppy play on offense.
2. Up until the final drive of the half, the Patriots’ offense was stuck in a funk. Little rhythm. A couple of dropped passes, a tipped ball for an interception, and a high shotgun snap that could have been a disaster have been part of the sloppy performance.
3. What changed on the final drive of the half? Wes Welker came up big, and the Patriots seemed to take advantage of the matchup of running back Danny Woodhead on linebackers.
4. Stunning to see Stephen Gostkowski miss a 27-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter.
5. The Patriots’ defense has come to play. They have added some new pressure wrinkles on third down, and Giants quarterback Eli Manning is flirting with trouble.
6. Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth saw his first action on the Giants’ fourth drive and drew a holding penalty on David Diehl. That is Haynesworth’s third drawn holding penalty of the season (he had his previous two in the season opener).
8. There has also been a rotation at defensive tackle, with Ron Brace seeing his first action of the season on the Giants’ fifth drive.
9. Ryan Wendell replaced Dan Connolly at center on the Patriots’ fifth offensive drive. On the previous drive, Connolly fired a high shotgun snap. Connolly returned to the game on the sixth offensive drive.
10. The Patriots’ punt return game remains stuck in neutral. Julian Edelman, in his first game since Oct. 2 against the Raiders, has been unable to generate any momentum.
11. The Patriots have utilized offensive tackle Nate Solder as an extra blocker on 15 snaps. That plan seems designed toward getting the running game going. There have been mixed results and an illegal substitution penalty for 12 men in the huddle on the Patriots’ fifth drive looked to be a result of Solder not coming off when he should have.
12. This game reminds me of the 2009 December home contest against the Panthers. There wasn’t much to get excited about that day, but Welker electrified the crowd after absorbing a big hit and popping back to his feet (the Patriots won 20-10). The Patriots need that type of spark today.
13. The Patriots get the ball to start the second half.
14. The last time the Patriots didn't score in the first half was December 2006 at Miami.
15. The last time both teams were held scoreless in the first half of a Patriots game was November 1993 against Buffalo.