Posted by Greg A. Bedard December 4, 2011 02:33 PM
FOXBOROUGH – Some quickie halftime thoughts:
- Some interesting alignments and personnel for the Patriots in the first half. Basically played entirely with a 3-3-5 alignment. Jerod Mayo, Rob Ninkovich and Niko Koutouvides were the linebackers. Defensive backs were Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington, Nate Jones, James Ihedigbo and WR Matthew Slater.
- Jones has done a nice job against the run and pass in his first Patriots action.
- Slater looks lost.
- Bill Belichick will say the Patriots were just doing what they had to do to win the game, but we’re willing to bet this was more about expanding the repertoire for possible future gameplans (vs. Denver and Tebow offense, postseason) and just putting more on film for playoff opponents to study.
- Same goes on offense. Patriots used many more two-back sets with Stevan Ridley and BenJarvus Green-Ellis at fullback. More things opponents have to study.
- Colts QB Dan Orlovsky isn’t very good, but he’s certainly better than Tyler Palko.
- Chad Ochocinco received a Bronx standing ovation and Adam Vinatieri got booed. Something’s wrong with that.
- Patriots are doing a nice job against Colts DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.
- Strange to see Tom Brady making a couple of throws into coverage that he normally doesn’t make.
- The Patriots have had more chances to pass – the Colts played more single high safety than Cover 2 on early downs – but the Patriots kept running. Think they want to work on the execution in the run game, which has been poor two of the past three games.
- Colts got 75 percent of their 89 total yards on the 19-play that ended with a field goal.
- The hurry-up offense helped shake the Patriots out of their early-game slumber.