|Bret Lockett leaves with injury, Pats still ahead at halftime||08.18.11 at 9:09 pm ET|
The Patriots shouldn’t have much to complain about in Tampa, as they lead the Bucs, 28-0, at halftime. The Pats have touchdowns Aaron Hernandez, Chad Ochocinco and a pair of rushing scores from BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The Buccaneers missed a 47-yard field goal with one second remaining in the half.
Thus far, Tom Brady is 11-of-19 for 118 yards on the night with a pair of passing touchdowns, while Brian Hoyer completed the only pass he threw. Rookie Nate Solder has been in at left tackle for all of the Patriots’ offensive drives. He was beaten late in the second quarter, leading to a sack of Brady deep in the Patriots’ end.
There were a couple of scary plays for the Patriots in the second quarter. After a play in which Brady was pressured and both he and Nate Solder went down in odd fashion, the Patriots were forced to punt for the first time (they punted a second time late in the second quarter). It was on that play that safety Bret Lockett appeared to go down with a groin or thigh injury. Should the injury keep him out significant time, the Patriots may end up regretting not retaining another UCLA safety in Jarrad Page. Rookie Sergio Brown, an undrafted safety out of Notre Dame, looked good in the second quarter.
The Pats have done a good job of mixing up their defensive tackles, as they’ve featured the likes of Vince Wilfork, Kyle Love, Myron Pryor and Gerard Warren in the middle of their 4-3 defense.
The second quarter saw the second sack of the night for Jerod Mayo. The fourth-year linebacker has seemed to thrive in the 4-3 thus far, an indication that big things could be ahead for a player coming off his first All-Pro and Pro Bowl season. Andre Carter has shown great burst as a pass-rusher, and he pressured Josh Johnson into throwing a pass that was nearly intercepted by Rob Ninkovich.
Green-Ellis has gotten the majority of the carries for the Patriots, but it’s Danny Woodhead who leads the Pats with 63 yards on the ground on just five carries. Green-Ellis has 42 yards, while Sammy Morris has one carry for three yards.
Wes Welker leads the Patriots with 56 receiving yards on five catches. Hernandez has 42 yards on three catches (all in the first quarter), while Ochocinco has two catches for 14 yards. Both Green-Ellis and rookie tight end Will Yeatman each have one catch.
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