|First-quarter notes: Patriots 7, Rams 7||10.28.12 at 1:40 pm ET|
The first quarter is in the books in London, and the game is tied at seven. Here are a few quick notes.
•The Patriots won the toss and deferred.
•The Patriots opened the game with Devin McCourty and Tavon Wilson at safety and Kyle Arrington and Alfonzo Dennard at corner. When New England went nickel, they brought Sterling Moore off the bench and bumped Arrington into the slot. The Rams jumped on the board early when, on their first drive, Sam Bradford hit Chris Givens with a 50-yad touchdown pass down the middle that was almost identical to the deep ball that Russell Wilson two weeks ago to beat the Patriots, right down to the fact that it was rookie defensive back Tavon Wilson who was beat on both occasions. It was the fifth straight game where Givens had a reception of 50-plus yards, a new NFL record.
•The Patriots defense was certainly up to the challenge on the Rams’ second series of the afternoon, keeping St. Louis bottled up in its end of the field and forcing a punt from the Rams’ 47-yard line. On that series, New England appeared to dial up a few blitzes, including one where safety Tavon Wilson came busting out of the secondary toward Bradford.
•Midway through the first quarter, cornerback Kyle Arrington left with a head injury. The team announced that his return was questionable.
•The Patriots were able to do a nice job responding, putting together a steady and consistent drive that ended with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Brandon Lloyd. (On the drive, the Patriots converted on all three third-down opportunities to keep the chains moving.) After a rough week last week (where he caught one pass on eight targets), he’s off to a good start against the Rams. On that touchdown pass, it appeared he was able to bait the rookie corner Janoris Jenkins — I asked Lloyd earlier in the week if you could use the Rams’ aggressiveness against them, and he smiled knowingly.
•The Patriots would reach the cusp of the end zone again on a drive that saw them get down to the St. Louis one-yard line on a drive that featured a 20-yard run by Ridley followed up by a 25-yard catch by Rob Gronkowski.
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